Theme Of Inhumanity In Huckleberry Finn

790 Words4 Pages
Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic novel used to enlighten people about the offenses of social institutions of the 19th century. It is through Mark Twain's main character Huckleberry Finn, a twelve year old boy, that we observe these misdeeds of society. In addition, Twain uses satire or humor to soften the blow of his criticism of society. Some of the institutions that Twain denounces are violence, slavery, and religion. These all relate to one of the underlying themes throughout the books which is, man's inhumanity to man.

One of the social institutions that Mark Twain attacked was violence. In the story, a recurring violent character is Pap Finn. He abuses Huck Finn mentally and physically. Pap denies Huck his right to learn and gain knowledge but Huck says, "He catched me a couple of times and trashed me, but I
…show more content…
Mark Twain expressed through his characters how slaves were thought of as property and not human beings. This is evident at the slave auction and throughout the story as Jim fights to buy his family's freedom. Aunt Sally also drives home the message that blacks are not men when after the steamboat explosion she is told a "nigger" was killed and she replies, "Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt!" (Twain 228). Earlier, Twain shows just how racist people are when Pap Finn actually gives up his right to vote because a black man has the right to vote. Pap shows his ignorance when he explains, "When they told me there was a State in this country where they'd let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I'll never vote again" (Twain 35). Racism was the norm of the day and even Huck Finn, who was Jim's friend was not above remarking, "Well, he was right; he was most always right; he had an uncommon level head, for a nigger," which underlines how ingrained prejudice was at that time (Twain
Open Document