Smiley, an author of many books and magazine essays, writes her own criticism of Huckleberry Finn, “Say It Ain’t So, Huck”. Smiley has very strong arguments as she compares her own opinions and backs them up with Twain’s words from the book. Smiley argues that Twains real meaning behind the book is based off of racism. Twain never allows Jim to become a real human, as Jim will always be a slave whether he knows it or not. Although Huck and Jim end up creating a very strong relationship like brothers, Smiley believes that “Twain thinks that Hucks affection is a good enough reward for Jim” (Smiley 460). He would not ever get the treatment Huck did, and Jim’s character was never allowed to grow. Smiley catches the audience’s attention as she recognizes the racist remarks that Twain uses through his character, Huck, and how he forms Jim’s character. Smiley says that, through the book, Twain creates Jim “more and more passive and never minds, just like any good sidekick” (Smiley 460). As Huck and Jim never cross the Mississippi to Illinois, a free state, Jim just stands in Huck’s shadows as he is along for the journey, never getting his own voice in the book to stand up for himself and his freedom. Through Smileys argument the reader could also take Jim’s character as Huck’s own slave. Smiley creates his argument and his main claim, “ Twain nor Huck …show more content…
She looses the reader in her criticism, and it seems now the reader is learning more about Uncle Tom’s Cabin than the racist background of Huckleberry Finn. Smiley’s criticism was so strong and caught so many others’ attention because it had its own controversy against her own. This controversy was written by Justin Kaplan and is a good indication that Smiley got her point across in her own
The black man on the back porch is afraid of the rattle snake because it is bad luck, or the innocent little slave is quick to believe everything one tells them at the drop of the hat. These are just some of the many racist stereotypes of the 1840s. A character named Jim is the star African American whom Twain bestoys the mission of being the stereotypical black man to prove a point. He along with his much more pallor companion Huck go on exciting adventures that unfold the events which expose the racist conduct of the time. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain saturates his novel with potent images of acute racism severe enough as to create a satirical mien that exposes the absurdity of prejudice.
Anna Edgren Sophomore English Period 3 Mrs Burdette 28 April, 2017 Quote Journal #1 Revision Project Throughout the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the readers are able to see the protagonist Huck change his views on society and being able to distinguish right and wrong. The end of chapter fifteen reveals a great deal about Huck and Jim’s relationship. In the chapter, Huck and Jim are on the river on a raft trying to get to Cairo. During this journey, Huck and Jim get separated by the fog when Huck goes ahead to pull the raft.
In the book "The Adventures if Huckleberry Finn", Mark Twain's writing mirrors the society and problems it had in that time. This book promotes seeing African-Americans as people, which is absolutely groundbreaking and unheard-of in the time it was written, right after the Civil War. Throughout the book,, Huck has a complete change in his feelings towards Jim, starting with his highly influenced young mind, only able to view Jim as a slave, all the way to seeing Jim as a father-figure who can protect and provide for him. Although Huck tries to see Jim as a friend and fatherly-figure, society's beliefs don't allow him to see Jim as anything but a slave.
Twain uses this time to show how Huck has grown fond of Jim because Jim would “do everything he could think of for [Huck]...” (Chapter 31). Twain’s use of action and showing the reader Huck’s thoughts leading up to the action proves that he successfully conveyed Huck’s character
Twain writes, Huck “humbled” himself to a “nigger” and “warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards” (Twain 15.49). Later, Huck writes a letter to Jim’s owner and states that he has her slave. After contemplating his friendship with Jim the man, Huck decides he would rather receive eternal punishment and go to “hell, than turn him in (Twain 31.3) . The narrative has shown that the morals of one’s inner self should outweigh society. Huck eventually makes a clear determination that he wants to live by his own beliefs, not those set by society, especially in regards to racism.
These reasons show why Twain may have intended to discourage racism. In the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain it is a story of a troubled young boy and his good friend Jim. In the story Twain is not trying to portray racism toward the character Jim but rather is discouraging it. We see examples in the novel where Twain shows how Jim differs from other White men who cheat others, how he describes the white and black symbolism, and shows empathy for Jim.
Mark Twain emphasizes the theme that a person's morals are more powerful than the corrupt influence of society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Based on how Huck Finn views the world and forms his opinions, he does not know the difference between right and wrong. In the novel, Huck escapes civilized society. He encounters a runaway slave, Jim, and together they travel hopes of freedom. But along the way, Huck and Jim come across troubles that have Huck questioning his motives.
Throughout the story, the author, Mark Twain, creates a social critique by juxtaposing freedom against slavery, civilization and other social norms. The reader understands that it is not only Jim who is looking for freedom, but Huck as well. While Huck is not a slave, he still feels trapped by the restrictions society has placed upon him. The entire novel reveals Huck 's resistance to conformity in a culture filled with hypocrisies. At the end of the novel, Huck is once again given the opportunity to reenter society.
At no point, does Twain pretend like the tragedies of slavery did not exist, so neither should society today. Jim did not have an easy life as a slave, Twain made sure to point this out and pointed how some immoral people had it easy. Through the eyes of Huck Finn, Twain ensures that Huck and Jim understand inequality so that they prevent it – not embrace it. The literary masterpiece that is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn must be allowed as a symbol of the best humanity has to offer it. It is more than a matter of who is or is not offended.
Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain attacks the institution of slavery, by allowing readers to feel empathy for Jim through showing his fears and concerns about running away from Ms.Watson, and the friendship between Jim and Huck. Mark Twain uses Jim to criticize the ideas of slavery society held onto from before the Civil War by causing readers to feel sympathy for him. This can first be seen on page 45 when Jim admits to Huck why he ran away, “She always said she wouldn sell me.. I hear ole misus tel de widder she gwyne to sell me down to Orleans,” (Twain 45). Jim’s fear of being sold shows a side of the slave trade no slave owner ever recognized.
Although there are numerous instances where Huck’s moral growth can be seen, the individuals around such as Jim, will influence his moral growth greatly. Jim, a runaway slave, is the most influential individual when it comes to Huck’s moral development. During the beginning of the novel, Huck’s morals are primarily based on what he has learned from Miss Watson. Huck begins to become wary of such ideals that Miss Watson has imposed on him, and decided all he wanted “…was a change” (Twain 10).
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an American classic, it was the starting point for all great American Literature. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been awarded all of these honorable titles because of its abnormal and controversial plot line. During the time period when the book was written, it was unacceptable to view African- American’s as anything other than slaves. They were viewed as inferior to whites and were treated like property, they had no rights. The main character of the book, Huck, disagrees and disobeys these norms and pushes the boundaries of society when he becomes friends with a slave from his childhood; Jim.
As this change in Huck begins to happen, Huck struggles with deciding whether to help Jim, going against what he has been taught, or to turn him in, doing what Huck believes, is the right thing. Huck feels compassion for Jim, but he thinks that helping him is directly defying God. “it [Huckleberry Finn] is an image of the conflict between social and personal virtues, between, on the one hand, people 's associations as social concepts and social products and, on the other, their associations simply as human beings”(Ostrom, 164). Huck grapples with his personal feelings, and what society has taught him. Jim is seen by most as simply a slave who is inferior.
Despite Huck’s constant teasing and mild abuse, Jim exhibits unconditional kindness towards Huck. Jim also proves to be a father figure, disciplining Huck and protecting him from seeing Pap dead in the floating house. He is not clueless and loving like a dog; in fact, Jim is one of the most intellectually and emotionally consistent and whole characters in the novel. Huck’s inability to express his care for Jim further reflects the stigmas held toward interracial relationships in the South and the flawed nature of the narrator, Huck. Jim and Huck’s existence on the raft provides a refuge from society, from the chains that bind Jim and separate him from Huck.