Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper
I believe that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a book that deals with racism in 1884 and is a perfect tool to teach high school students about how things were. I will try and persuade you to think in the same way as I do. If I were to teach a high school English class, I would teach this book. The reason being that it is a perfect example of how everybody used to feel about any person or race that was different from his or her own kind. The world today as we know it is much different from the world in 1884. Nigger is seen as a hateful word by many people today, however, back in 1884 it was quite natural. White people were brought up to treat African-Americans as property. This book is only trying to be a realistic and accurate account of those days. I still believe that this book should be taught, and I do not believe it is racist at all given the time period for which it is written.
Is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn racist or insensitive? Is the phrase ” . . . —the only nigger I had in the world, and the only property . . . ” untrue to the way American southerners thought and spoke during the time of slavery? I do not believe Huck Finn is a “loose moral character.” I only believe he was brought up that way. He actually thinks that he will go to hell because he is not going to turn in Jim the slave. He is taught that slaves are property and that he is a sinner because he is stealing Jim away. Huck Finn does not want to turn Jim in because he cares about the slave and feels Jim is his friend. Huck also knows that the good white people will kill Jim without even the basic right of having a fair trail. I believe Twain is only trying to be realistic with his writing, saying what really happened. “Nigger” may sometimes be used as a hateful word, but The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn uses the word as a common everyday term for African Americans, even the slaves call themselves it.
I also believe censoring the book is totally wrong. Leave the book how it is. If one wants an uncontroversial book, he should write his own book. I see The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as an ” . . . escape to freedom.” This book shows that a boy who grows up in a racist society becomes a best friend with a runaway slave and how he finds out Jim is “Just like a white man under that black skin.” Huck, even though the things he said would be considered racist in today’s terms, actually discovers that a person with colored skin is no different from a white person inside, even though he is brought up to disbelieve that.
I do not believe this book could be bad because of the satire in it. Yes, there is a slight teasing air to the novel in some parts, but it is presented in a humorous way. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn uses lots of satire, including showing the way that a new person at a career will shoot for the moon to try to change things for the better, but often fails and realizes some things will never change. A new judge in town tries to reform Pap, Huck’s drunken father, but only finds that one can’t change him, ” . . . He reckoned a body could reform the ole man with a shot- gun, maybe, but he didn’t know no other way.” It’s just humorous, there’s no harm done. The purpose of satire in Twain’s book is to change a faulty society. Twain finds different aspects of his society and uses satire to try to change them especially racism. Twain shows this through Huck’s relationship with Jim in the society of their time, and that Huck realizes that he loves Jim more than his laws.
In conclusion, I would teach The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in my English class. I do not believe it is racist, but shows how one boy realizes that people of colored skin are just like any other person. There also is substantial proof that the author, Mark Twain, was not racist. He wrote a letter during his lifetime to Harvard University asking it to admit a black student. If Twain were not racist, why would he write a racist book? I agree this novel is good for educating students about
Racism and teachers should concentrate more on teaching it, not trying to ban it. Mark Twain is one of the best if not the best American writers. His ability to engage and entertain the reader is a rare and true talent. He gets the reader to think about important issues without alienating them. People with all kinds of different opinions read Mr. Twain s books with an open mind, which is the first step in trying to change their mind.