Scorning Slavery in Mark Twain´s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
1466 WordsJan 27, 20186 Pages
Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist who worked to gain legal equality for African Americans in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1963, he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington. King believed that blacks and whites are equal and yearned for social justice. Nearly 100 years earlier, Mark Twain shared similar beliefs; he also agreed that blacks and whites are equal. In Huckleberry Finn, Twain criticizes the assumption that whites should control blacks, as well as the Southern belief that blacks are not as smart whites, or as capable of feeling human emotions.
Twain criticizes the belief in the South that blacks are naturally unintelligent. In the beginning of the book, as tom sawyer is introduced, tom plays a prank on Jim by hanging his hat above his head. Tom and Huck find it funny when superstitious Jim, the next day, recounts that witches put him in a trance. Huck explains that “Niggers would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any nigger in that country.” Both Huck and Tom find this ridiculous, knowing that it wasn’t witches who played the trick, but themselves. Jim’s gullibility is comedic to them. They think that they duped Jim, but Jim benefits from their trick. Jim is no longer focused on his work, and instead, cleverly, creates a diversion from his responsibilities. Jim is still fed and given shelter, yet he no longer has to perform manual labor. Jim, without his owners