Slavery And Racism In Huckleberry Finn

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Slavery and Racism Whether the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, is admired or not, it has altered the psyche, or the ego, of American culture. The blatant racism and slavery accentuate the social norms of Twain’s time. Although it is one of the most taught novels, it is the hardest learned. Many readers miss what the book is really about and what Twain is really trying to say; it 's about nothing less than freedom and the quest for freedom. In Twain’s novel, there is no worse crime than helping slave, yet Huck Finn goes against social norms and rejects all he has learned through “civilization” by doing everything in his power to protect a slave. This novel takes place in the 1840’s, when racial tensions were on the rise.…show more content…
The central conflict of the novel concerns slavery; should Huck free Jim and then be condemned to hell? Despite having numerous opportunities to turn Jim in, as he is a runaway slave, Huck never betrays him. Huck always sides with his emotion. On page 212, Huck debates whether to send a letter that he wrote to Miss Watson and let her know about Jim. If he did, she would get angry with Jim, and be disgusted with his rascality and ungratefulness for leaving her; she would sell him. Finally Huck makes the remark, “all right then, I’ll go to hell” and rips the letter up. Additionally, Jim has numerous chances to leave Huck too, but he never does. Jim’s freedom is not worth the price of Huck’s life, and this reminds the reader that Jim would risk his life to aid Huck. Huck realizes that he is Jim’s only friend in the world. This proves that Huck does not have the heart to betray a friend, black or…show more content…
Even though Huck and Jim are friends, Huck does not hide his obvious prejudice against blacks. Because blacks are uneducated, Huck sees them as stupid and stubborn. When Jim disagrees with Huck and refuses to listen to his explanations, Huck concludes “you can 't learn a nigger to argue.” (107.) Undeniably, Jim’s actions are a result of his inability to distance himself from society’s conditions. Due to this, Jim accepts the fact that whites are superior to blacks and knows Huck is far smarter than he is. This is a result of the fact that he has been permeated by social norms and legal laws to put another race above his own, no matter the consequences. Since the first publication of this novel, the perspective on slavery and ideas of racism have been hotly debated. Twain was passionately anti-slavery. He uses Jim throughout the novel to show the humanity in slaves. Although many characters throughout the novel are pro-slavery, they are portrayed as delinquents. However, Huck and Jim never talk about slavery directly with each other, even though it is portrayed through Jim. Twain encourages the reader to feel empathy for Jim through their journey downriver and outrage at society for enslaving him and threatening his

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