Huckleberry Finn 6 Essay

1084 words - 4 pages

Racism and Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn Since the very first printing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the book has always been a very controversial one, to say the least. Many people misunderstand Mark Twain's intentions when he wrote this book. He just wanted to tell a story, not preach hate. He does a very good job of demonstrating the culture of the late eighteen hundreds. In no way is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn aimed at belittling the African American Race, it merely illustrates how the poorly the slave owners and traders treated blacks. Throughout the book, the word "nigger" is very prominently used. As you can imagine, African American people take offense to that word, even most people take offense to that word. Just because we might take offense to that word doesn't mean that we should just turn our heads and pretend that the word does not exist. Mark Twain did a very good job when writing this book, in terms of the dialect he used. During the period of time when this book was written, the "n-word" was part of their culture, where as the words "African American" and "black" are used today in our culture. If Mark Twain avoided the many racial slurs used during the late eighteen hundreds, the book would have lost some of the intellectual value which it possesses, not to mention the historical value of the era. Besides, if Mark Twain used alternate words, he would be writing from a romantic point of view, instead of a realist point of view. Throughout the whole book, Mark Twain never makes a derogatory comment or statement towards anyone, especially blacks. The only time he does use the "n-word" is in a character's dialogue. '"And to see the cool way of that nigger-why, he wouldn't 'a' give me the road if I hadn't shoved him out o' the way."' That is the way that people talked back then, the cultural mindset of their environment basically mandated the use of that word and other offensive racial slurs directed towards blacks. Not including these words and phrases would hinder the true feeling of the time period in which the book takes place. "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it". (Author Unknown) The words in that statement are very true. If you can not remember your mistakes, you will probably make the same mistake again. What will happen if we totally forget about slavery, and all the ugly details that go along with it? Is it possible for it to happen again? We need to be aware of what has happened in our past in order to keep ourselves on the right track for the future. Even though slavery may be a sensitive issue, we need to confront it and never forget about it. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an excellent source of information dealing with that period of time. This book helps us "remember" what has happened in our past, and never to forget what sickening things have happened during the...

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