The Controversy and the Challenge Resources on this Site:
Huckleberry Finn - A Racist Novel? There is a major argument among literary critics whether Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is or is not a racist novel. The question boils down to the depiction of Jim, the black slave, and to the way he is treated by Huck and other characters.
The use of the word "nigger" is also a point raised by some critics, who feel that Twain uses the word too much and too loosely. Mark Twain never presents Jim in a negative light. He does not show Jim as a drunkard, as a mean person or as a cheat.
We see Jim as a good friend, a man devoted to his family and loyal to his companions. He is, however, very naive and superstitious. Some critics say that Twain is implying that all blacks have these qualities.
When Jim turns to his magic hairball for answers about the future, we see that he does believe in some foolish things. This type of naivete was abundant at the time and found among all races-the result of a lack of proper education.
So the depiction of Jim is not negative in the sense that Jim is stupid and inferior, and in this aspect of the story clearly there is no racism intended.
It is next necessary to analyze the way white characters treat Jim throughout the book. Note that what the author felt is not the way most characters act around Jim, and his feelings are probably only shown through Huck. In the South during that period, black people were treated as less than humans, and Twain needed to portray this.
The examples of the way Jim is denigrated: Huck, however, does not treat Jim as most whites do. There are two main examples of this in the story. This is again Twain making a mockery of Southern values, that it is a sin to be kind to black people.
Another reason that is given to say this novel is racist is the use of the word "nigger. If Twain wanted to write an historically accurate book, as he did, then the inclusion of this word is totally necessary.
These claims that Huckleberry Finn is racist are not simply attempts to damage the image of a great novel. However, they must realize that this novel and its author are not racist, and the purpose of the story is to prove black equality.A summary of Themes in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Racism and Slavery. The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Slavery and Racism appears in each chapter of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & . Huckleberry Finn - A Racist Novel?, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
Racism In Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
Essay about Prejudice and Racism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Prejudice and Racism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is an excellent example of racism in literature, because it uses language .
Is Huckleberry Finn really a racist book? Controversial in death as he was in life, Mark Twain has been seriously accused by some of being a "racist writer," whose writing is offensive to black readers, perpetuates cheap slave-era stereotypes, and deserves no place on today's bookshelves.