Racism In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

1176 words - 5 pages

Mankind is graced with the unique ability to be able to formulate their own ideas and make their own impressionable choices. Some people choose to abuse this power and others hardly use it at all. This capability is called free will and some people use it without even knowing it. This concept of free will has been around since the earliest human civilization, and the Bible coins the term free will as a divine power for people to choose their own faith and make their own decisions. The most important part of free will is that people are able to construct their own opinions on what they believe. The book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, most commonly known as Huck Finn, has had many speculations and controversies over it, and a lot of strong opinions about it have been made regarding it. An editorial from 1982, from the Washington Post states its own views about the book:

The reading aloud of Huck Finn in our classrooms is humiliating and insulting to black students. It contributes to their feelings of low self-esteem and to the white students' disrespect for black people. For the past forty years, black families have trekked to schools in numerous districts throughout the country to say, 'This book is not good for our children,' only to be turned away by insensitive and often unwittingly racist teachers and administrators who respond, 'This book is a classic.'

The teachers and administrators have the right to say that the “book is a classic” and the black peoples' claims were way behind their time. The claim that the book humiliates the black student is a statement that would have made sense if it were during the war on civil rights back in the 1960s. By 1982, the people of America should have moved on. It appears to be that the white people are the only ones that have done so. The reading should not humiliate the black students, but rather embarrass the white students by showing them how their ancestors treated the black people. Ironic when the whites’ nation was filled with “drunkards, murderers, bullies, swindlers, lynchers, thieves, liars, frauds, child abusers, numskulls, hypocrites, windbags, traders in human flesh” and the only noble and honest person was the “’Nigger Jim,' as Twain called him to emphasize the irony of a society in which the only true gentleman was held beneath contempt"(Baker, Expelling Huck Finn). The demand of the removal of the book seems counterproductive to the black people who, not 15 years earlier, wanted to show the mistreatment of blacks in the country.

Huck Finn is saturated with slang against Jim and demeaning comments, but the book shows that black and whites are equal as humans. Not only mentally but also emotionally. A keen example of equality is from Huck realizing “a black man can love his family just as much as a white man”(Twain need page ). This reference shows how Huck, a white boy, can realize that Jim, a black man, is just the same as himself. This book brings two races together. The black...

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