Huck Finn Rhetorical Analysis

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In Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, he utilized diction to illustrate the change in Huck’s view on slavery and more specifically, Jim; from believing that all slaves are subhuman and ignorant to befriending and respecting Jim as his equal. Incidentally, one way that Twain used diction to highlight such change in Huck was in his choice and usage of the word “n*****”. Considering this, in Chapter 16, Huck habitually uses the n-word to refer to Jim rather than calling him by his name. Huck also utilizes phrases such as , “Give a n***** an inch and he’ll take an ell.” when attempting to characterize Jim’s behavior. By using the n-word, Huck identifies Jim as part a generalized category of people who are perceived as universally …show more content…

In Chapter 16, when Huck sees Jim’s reaction to being near freedom, Huck describes his feeling as, “miserable”, “abusing”, “scorched”, and “die”. Although Jim is happy to face his future, Huck becomes burdened by societal beliefs and more importantly, his own moral values. For Huck, bestowing freedom to a slave is shameful and unethical; no different from one’s “property”. This also implies that Huck values the societies view more than his relationship with Jim. Later on, Huck’s view of the past changes as he separates his own conscience from the societal values. This is seen in chapter 31, when Huck reflects on his journey as “good”, “laughing”, and “best”. Despite conflicting with societal values, Huck was able to enjoy Jim’s companionship. This is a direct result of him starting to believe that Jim is his equivalent and is worthy of being his friend. By referring to slaves as “n*****” and other derogatory dictions earlier in the novel, then calling Jim “white” and using joyful dictions, Twain highlights Huck’s shift in view from the typical societal view that slaves are “properties” to his own belief that people are not inherently

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