Racism In Huck Finn

Good Essays
Stefano Derossi
Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, though a widely controversial book since its publication, delivers a powerful message about the true significance and impact of racism. While his writing contains disputable and coarse language at times, Twain manages to diminish the magnitude of these words with his literary techniques. One of his most prominent approaches is the regular repetition of the word “nigger” in the novel, demonstrating society’s utter lack of class and respect for African-Americans. This reiteration exists not to accentuate the offensive word, but to bring attention to the social tolerance of such hateful speech that transpires in Huckleberry Finn. Secondly, Twain places within Huck an impressionable trait, which, although at times may cause him to conform to society’s unethical norms, eventually improves his set of principles drastically when exposed to influential figures. Lastly, in Twain’s insertion of the character Jim, he provides a strong influence for Huck who comes to directly shape him and his morals. This breaking of social barriers shows Mark Twain’s intention to create a bond between Huck and Jim. Through his ultra-realistic use of the “n-word”, the depiction of an easily influenced mind in Huck, and portrayal of an unlikely friend in Jim, Twain proves that racism is not identified by an individual’s uncouth language or irrational decisions, but the moral measures by which they stand.
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