Quotes On Race In Huckleberry Finn

1266 Words6 Pages
Race is a divisive factor in many populations. It is a concept to categorize people based on their physical traits, such as skin color, and genetics. Race can be used as a mechanism for social division. As the novel unfolds, Huckleberry Finn’s perspective on race changes as he sees the importance for equality in Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck’s initial thought, to treat people equally, is countered by society’s need for separation. Huck promises to keep Jim's secret after he learns of his escape from Miss Watson. “Well I did. I said I wouldn’t, and I’ll stick to it. Honest injun, I will. People would call me a low-down abolitionist and deise me for keeping mum” (43). Huck’s decision to keep Jim’s secret reflects a higher…show more content…
After lying to Jim and getting caught, Huck thinks on his actions. “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither” (86). Huck knows that his actions are wrong but struggles to apologize to Jim because he is conditioned to believe that Jim has no real value. Huck tries to break free from the influence of society and in doing so, he realizes that his actions are not morally acceptable. With no interference from society, Huck is therefore able to humble himself to Jim and treat him in a way that opposes society’s expectations. After leaving the feud, Huck comes back to the safety of the raft and says to Jim, “We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft” (116). For Huck, the raft is a safe and secure spot; with Jim on the raft, Huck feels protected and that he has a dependable friend. As Huck spends more time with Jim, he begins to see Jim as more human and someone he can trust. In this moment of reflection, Huck is therefore able to remove the stigma society places on him being friends with Jim because of their races; he is able to think for himself without the fear of society’s influence or thought on his choices. When Huck wakes up in the…show more content…
After Huck finds out that Jim is captive, Huck “set down and cried. [He] couldn’t help it” (210). After returning to the raft and not finding Jim there, Huck is overcome with emotion. The fear of Jim not being around causes Huck to realize how important Jim is to him. The friendship they developed on the river and through their adventure causes Huck to be more concerned for Jim’s safety than society’s need to keep Jim captive. Huck, therefore, sees Jim as his friend and ignores society’s expectations to treat him less than human. After tearing up the letter he writes to Miss Watson, Huck “... studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’” (214). Huck realizes that Jim is in need of assistance so he decides to do what is morally correct, which is to help Jim escape. Huck decides to act on his morals rather than be held captive by society; Huck believes that he has to act in the best interest of Jim and does not consider what society believes is acceptable behavior. By stating that he will “go to hell,” Huck reiterates what he promises Jim in the beginning- that he rather be a “low down abolitionist”; these statements combined supports his feelings to protect Jim from society. When Huck and Tom get back to the house, Huck states, “...it don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no

More about Quotes On Race In Huckleberry Finn

Open Document