Racial Relations In Huckleberry Finn Essay

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Huckleberry Finn is a novel written by Mark Twain in 1884 and is a staple of American literature, even though it contains strong themes of racial relations that would seem out of the norm in today’s literature. Yet, instead of finding these themes just in old literature we are now finding them in the modern world. This paper will focus on past and modern-day racial relations by looking at historical events and the use of literature.
Before diving into race relations in Huckleberry Finn, readers must understand the historical context of the time written. The novel is set before the civil war, roughly 40-50 years before its publication, Twain wanted to reflect the racist themes of daily life during that time. A couple years before the
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anybody hurt?" "No'm. Killed a nigger." "Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.” (Twain 241)” This proves that people during that time thought African-Americans were less than human and that there lives did not matter as much as white which provides a very unbalanced race relation.
The second example of this race relation is when Huck is confronted with the moral dilemma of turning Jim in. On one hand, he still views Jim as the property of Miss Watson, who helped him read and with manners and such, and he feels guilty. But, on the other hand Jim is his friend and companion. Eventually, Huck decides to go against the racial norms he has been raised with and doesn’t turn Jim in. In brief, this example asks if a person born into a racially insensitive culture can overcome such things, why can’t the reader? Twain was trying to have the same realization for his audience like with what Huck had with Jim. Even though Huckleberry Finn is a fictitious book released in the 1880s, it touches on a very modern issue of race relations between African-Americans and whites. While on the surface, these kinds of race relations might sound like a outdated issue, there are several pieces of modern evidence and proof ranging from criminal records to social perception to stereotypes that point otherwise. For just one example, the race relation between the black lives matter movement and the press. All examples point to white people having an
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