Prejudice And Racism In Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn

1076 Words5 Pages
Themes of hypocrisy, greed and racism are present in our lives all too often. In the past year, we witnessed hypocrisy on the nationwide stage of our presidential election. We let the top ten percent of wealthiest families control 76 percent of the money in America while the lower half of families controlled one percent (Sahadi, CNN Money*). And finally, we tolerated unprecedented racism in the forms of racially targeted police brutality and the retaliation that followed. For 2016, it was easy to see the vile themes of hypocrisy, greed and racism present on the news and in social media. However, upon closer examination, they can be identified time and time again in our past. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn depicts the society of 1800s America as hypocritical, greedy, and racist. Throughout Huck’s adventures, from living with Miss Watson and Widow Douglas to escaping his alcoholic father, Pap, and travelling down the Mississippi River with Jim, the people around him prove to be hypocritical through their words and actions. Pap happens to be one of the most hypocritical characters present in the book. Drunken Pap goes off in a rant about how “terrible” the government is for trying to take his son away from him. “Here’s the law a-standing ready to take a man’s son away from him - a man’s son, which he has had all the trouble and all the expense of raising.” (Twain 26) Pap wants people to believe he actively raised Huck, contrary to what…show more content…
Not only are these flawed traits prominent in the characters surrounding Huck, but they are also seen in Huck. Huck learns these behaviors from the society he grew up in. As he grew older, family and friends encourage him to act and speak in a warped way. Society’s poisonous effect on Huckleberry Finn reflects the struggle of many individuals today who are raised without proper guidance and role
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