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A Satirical Novel Essay

3061 words - 13 pages

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a satirical novel written by Mark Twain that exhibits Twain’s views on racism and slavery. The book is set in the deep South during the pre-Civil War era of slavery, about 1835 to 1845, and it tells the story of Huck, who is running away from his abusive father, and Jim, who is running away from his owner so he wouldn’t be sold, traveling to the free states of the North. As they ventures together through the Mississippi river in their raft, Jim and Huck encounter many people and experience many events, each of them bearing a lesson about the fallacy of racism and slavery. Huck starts the novel as someone who is indifferent to slavery, but as the ...view middle of the document...

Huck and Jim meet each other on Jackson’s island, and decide to escape from the town, St. Petersburg, and head to the free states. Huck, in the canoe, gets separated from Jim during a foggy night, but eventually, Huck finds his way back to the raft. Jim wakes up as Huck gets back in the way, and is ecstatic to find out that Huck is still alive, yet Huck tries to deceive him into believing that the foggy night and Huck’s disappearance was just a mere dream. Jim sees the leaves and dirt that Huck tracked in and realizes that Huck was lying; Jim then says to Huck, “…my heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn’t k’yer (care) no’ mo’ what become er me en de raf’. En when I wake up en fine you back ag’in, all safe en soun’… I’s so thankful. En all you wuz thinkin’ ‘bout wuz how you can make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie. Dat truck dah is trash; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren’s en makes ‘em ashamed (P. 82).” Despite the broken English, Jim says many important things in this quote. Jim shows that he cares deeply for Huck even though Huck is white; Jim is devoid of the racism that most of society had during the time period. Jim’s criticisms of the cruel lie that Huck, a white boy, tries to spin off and his definition of trash make Huck feel thoroughly ashamed, and Huck, unlike how the rest of society would have acted, apologized to Jim even though Jim was black. This would not have occurred if Twain was a racist. Twain considers himself to be to equal to blacks. If Twain was a racist, he would have made Huck followed society and refused to submit himself below a “nigger” by apologizing, but Huck did bring himself down below a black and apologized, going completely against racial hate.

Another example of Jim’s dissociation from the stereotypical black male is his ability to care. In his previous quote, Jim displays his strong compassion for Huck, and later in the novel, Jim mourns and cries for his wife and two children during a night watch. Jim tells Huck about when he beat his daughter for disobeying orders, but Jim later found out that his daughter had gone deaf because a bout with the scarlet fever. Jim prays to God to forgive him for his sins, and Huck is bewildered after witnessing this because Jim, a “nigger”, is going through normal human emotions. After much deep thought, Huck concludes that Jim loves his family just as much as a white man. This is another example of Twain’s anti-racist views. Through Huck’s conclusion of Jim’s love for his family, Twain has just told his readers that blacks are equal with whites. Twain doesn’t discriminate towards blacks or belittle them.

Huck goes through many events and meet many people that lead him to make him change from a typical white child to one who is incapable of committing racism. After Jim was captured by the duke and king, Huck begins to write a letter to Mrs. Watson so Mrs. Watson can...

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