Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper
Every person in this world interprets events, movies, and literature
differently. As people walk by a restaurant with a frase on the window that is
supposed to be funny, I would bet half the people that read it would think it
was a crude or racial slur. Huck Finn is a book that lets you form your own
opinion on what its truly about. Mark Twain did not write a foreword telling
everyone who reads his book about how he wrote it and how it was supposed
to be interpreted. He made the right move. In my opinion Huck Finn is not a
racist book with hidden meanings that demean Blacks.
As a class we watched a television show from the 80 s about a dance
school that was putting on a play. The play they were to perform was to be
Huck Finn. After a couple weeks of rehearsal some of the students
determined in their mind that Mark Twain was a racist and they would not
perform a play that was racist. People yelling at each other, and all other sorts
of nonsense, the students learned that Huck Finn may be a book that s racist
in their eyes, but wasn t in their teacher s.
The period in time from which this book was written was a time when
half the states in America were slave states. Some people who read the book
so conveniently forget that little, but very important fact. Mark Twain was
not a writer who wrote about the future or the past. He used the society of his
time and his opinions of that society to write his well known novels.
Satire is defined as a literary work in which human vice or folly is
attacked through irony, derision, or wit. Mark Twain was one of the well
known satirists of his time and is still considered a satirist today. To find
satire funny means you have to like that kind of humor and not be offended.
Satire is totally based on how in interpret the intention of the joke.
In the book there is a part where Pap is ranting and raving about how
awful it is that Black s have the right to vote and how they dress up better
then him. If you were reading the book and were interpreting the book word
for word and were taking it literally you wouldn t see how this instance in the
book was a joke . Mark Twain wanted you think about how racist people
were back then and that a man who is to drunk to walk is griping about how
blacks have the right to vote.
Some people who have read this book believe that Mark Twain
created the character Jim just so everyone would laugh at how stupid he was.
In fact they believe this is one of the main points of why he is racist. On the
contrary some believe Jim is a great character and that was the first of his
kind. Jim was a runaway slave who was running away from his owner Miss.
Watson. He was a typical slave in that he couldn t read or write, but was a
very good man. He did what almost 95% of the people of today wouldn t
have done. He stayed with Tom Sawyer on the raft until a doctor came for
help. Most people today, who were put in that same situation, would have ran
off to be free. He showed how great of a person he really was. This and many
other facts show that Mark Twain in my mind was not a racist but a very
smart other who didn t just say his problems but wrote them.
If we had not of had a teacher that had enlightened us to the many uses
of satire and would not have helped us interpret this book I will bet half the
class would have thought Mark Twain a racist. Our teacher saved those
readers and made the book interesting for everyone.
Huck Finn helps race relations in two ways. One, he is trying to show
everyone that this is how cruel they used to be and how we can not in our
right minds go back to that way of thinking. Two, he makes one of the must
trustworthy, loyal and funny men a black man. I believe that speaks volumes
about how far we have come today and how much farther we need to go.