"Novelists, like surgeons, cut straight to the heart. But unlike surgeons, they don't sew up the wound. They leave it open to heal or fester, depending on the septic level of the reader's own environment.” States PBS. When Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn he set out to try to accomplish the task of showing that the colour of someone’s skin should not have to dictate that they are treated differently than anyone else. He tries to teach the audience a moral lesson through Jim, who is at first depicted as a stereotype for African American during the time period with Twain purposefully making him ignorant, stubborn and stupid and yet when him and Huck go on the journey together Huck overcome his social upbringing and sees Jim not just as a “nigger”
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In the beginning of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain proscribes his audience from finding a motive, moral, or plot. In using rhetorical strategies such as satire, irony, and humor he challenges the reader to look for deeper meanings not only in the Notice, but throughout the whole novel. His purpose was to shed light on the false ideals that society represents as seen through the eyes of young boy. The ironic events that prohibit Huck from being a dynamic character suggest the inadequacy of blind faith in society. Twain uses satire to show the conflict between slavery and Christianity.
This book proves that not everyone who grew up around racism was cruel, as Huck began to love Jim for who he is, despite the society he grew up in. An example of Huck maturing could come from chapter forty, "I knowed he was white inside, and I reckoned he'd say what he did say - so it was all right, now, and I told Tom I was agoing for a doctor." (Twain 301). This quote clearly shows that Huck is maturing, and seeing past the color of Jim's skin. The book shows us how hard it was to grow up in a racist society and not be racist.
The appropriateness of Huck Finn being used in a High School curriculum has been a widely debated topic since the time that it was published. Many believe that the book promotes racism and stereotypes and provides no value to students in the classroom. Being a High School student that has read this book, I strongly disagree with these negative views. Some might say that Huck Finn celebrates racist stereotypes because of the way that many of the characters in the book talk about and treat black people. For example, minstrel episodes, which served the purpose of making the audience laugh at minorities’ expense, and the frequent use of the ‘N’ word, are very offensive to many people today.
Throughout adolescence we are taught that lying is not good, not even a little white lie. But what if this is not true? What if we can benefit from these lies? “A lie told often enough becomes the truth” (Lenin Brainyquote). We see white lies in our everyday lives, but some people use it for the benefit of themselves, rather than others who lie to benefit the people they care about.
Bob Marley once said, “Prejudice is a chain, it can hold you. If you prejudice, you can’t move, you keep prejudice for years. Never get nowhere about.” In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, two runaway meet up on the raft to escape to the free state. Huck, one of the runaways is white, running away from abuse from his father.
When Huck and Jim lost each other in the fog, Huck thought it would be a good idea to play a trick on Jim. By telling Jim that everything that happened was only him dreaming, but Jim was smart enough to realize Huck’s hoax but not let on about it. When Huck figured out Jim wasn’t happy about the trick, he had to “work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger” (4). In the beginning Twain makes Huck see Jim as unequal to him, by still having Huck use degrading names, and having to force himself to apologize. Inequality was a major issue during Twain’s life, and by having Jim stereotyped as unequal to Huck, though both are very similar in morals and education, Jim is still lower than Huck.
When Huck finds out who took him, he travels to his home, only to find out that the owner is Tom Sawyer’s Uncle Silas. When Huck runs into Tom’s Aunt, she mistakes him for Tom, and he decides to go along with it. Unfortunately for Huck, Tom arrives a short while after, but they devise a plan, Tom pretends to be a cousin, and together they find a way to get Jim out of custody. I think this section of the book really shows Huck’s care and compassion for Jim and that he’s willing to travel to a complete stranger’s house and pretend to be someone he’s not to save him from slavery. I also think that this relationship between Huck and Jim is Twain’s way of showing that everyone deserves to be loved and care for, no matter they’re race or ethnicity.
Blacks in the novel are portrayed as superstitious and gullible and it is understandable that many readers are offended by these stereotypes. However, in contrast to these stereotypes, Twain gives us Jim the runaway slave. Jim in many ways contradicts these racial stereotypes: he is resourceful, clever, compassionate, and friend to Huck. When it comes time for Huck to consider telling Miss Watson that her slave has been captured, Huck finds himself in a dilemma. Does he do what he views as “right,” turn Jim in, or does he do the “wrong” thing: helping a slave and true friend who has sacrificed and genuinely cared about Huck’s wellbeing throughout their river raft adventure?
In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses Huck’s conscience and life experiences to illustrate the path of a young boy who is caught in the middle of what he believes ought to be right from wrong. Early in the novel, Huck demonstrates the traits of a young man who is caught up in societies views and behaviors towards slavery. Huck learns through his experiences that African American people; slaves, should be treated as property rather than afford them the same rights and equality he is given. Jim, Huck’s “slave”, means much more to him than just ordinary property. Huck’s moral instinct is to treat Jim with the same respect and moral standards that he feels is right.
Those who feel the novel encourages racism say that because of the stereotypes used when featuring Jim, how Huck and Tom treated Jim, and how often the N-word is brought up Twain had hoped to encourage racism. However there is still strong evidence that proves why that might be a misunderstanding. If twain was intending to encourage racism then why would he make Him seem so much of a better person than the duke, king, and Huck's father. Also when Twain illustrates the black and white symbolism he portrayed Him as white man and Huck's father, who is a white man, as dark and scary. Then throughout the story as a reader you feel empathy for Jim he begins to become one of the favorite characters in the novel.
This shows how people view Jim and the severity of his escaping. The views of slavery are so set in stone that the black boy escaping is more heinous a crime than that of a white man killing his son. Twain uses figurative language throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. One example would be when he is describing a summer storm in chapter 9. Twain talks about the trees looking “dim and spider-webby,” and how when the wind blows through, it “set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just wild.”
But if you look deeper into the meanings of the stpry, Twain uses Jim as a way to talk about ideals such as racism and slavery. Because over the course of the story, Huck starts to see Jim as a person and not just a slave. And in the course of this, we begin to realize that Jim is one of nicest characters
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.
To begin, Twain targets Huckleberry Finn's innocence and uses it as a way to show that anyone being raised in a racist, pro-slavery America was conflicted between morals and laws. At first, Huck is a "rebel" in his own mind, so to say, and tries to avoid becoming "sivilized" from the Widow Douglas. He sticks to what he knows, and uses his experience with people and his own judgment to make decisions like an adult, something quite
While it is true that the book is racist in many methods, it is also true that Twain, in the novel, was supporting the integration between the two cultures. By doing this, he uses Huck Finn and Jim as the symbolization of what we as an integrated society can accomplish. I believe Betty H. Jones described the concept best in her article Huck and Jim: A Reconsideration, in which she states “Floating along together, Huck and Jim are mentor and student, father and son. Symbolically, Huck and Jim’s dynamic, evolving relationship suggests the resolution of the nation’s problems.” This shows that their friendship could stand for a better future, Until Tom Sawyer appeared and drove their bond off a cliff.