Huck Finn and Black Boy
Discrimination is a disease; a sickness that has plagued American society for hundreds of years. It can be seen and experienced everywhere. The slandering of people because of their ethnic background, religion, or social status. Why is there discrimination in the world? Hate, envy, racism, selfishness; these traits are not instinctive, rather, they are learned. It does not matter where anti-social traits are initially experienced, whether it is found in the home, or school, or even in the nursery, the results are the same. Children that are exposed to discrimination at an early age could have a propensity towards violent behavior as they ...view middle of the document...
It’s important to understand Jim and Huck’s relationship in regards to the time the story takes place. According to “Pictures of Jim:” “Who dah?" This is Jim's first line, which is also the novel's first line of dialogue. It's a good question for Jim to ask. One of the greatest issues raised by the novel is "who is there" as far as Jim is concerned -- a human being? A piece of property? What makes Huck decide to "go to hell" in the scene that most critics call the moral climax of the story is that he can "see Jim before me," instead of the figure his culture has told him is there: "Miss Watson's nigger." But how the novel as a whole "sees" him is a question that remains very controversial”.
Over the course of the novel Huck's opinion of Jim changes. In the beginning of their voyage, Huck feels he shouldn't be helping Jim to freedom and almost turns him in to slave catchers, "I was paddling off, all in a sweat to tell on him; but when he says this (that Huck is his one and only friend) it seemed to take the tuck all out of me” (Twain 87). Huck begins to enjoy having Jim's company, and when Jim is sold by the Duke and the King, Huck breaks down and cries while asking the Duke where Jim is, "'sold him' I says, and begun to cry; 'why he was my nigger, and that was my money. Where is he? … I want my nigger” (Twain, 208) Then Huck steals Jim from the Phelps farm (eventhough he was already set free by Miss Watson's will). Huck Finn changes as we go through the story because Jim becomes more then a “nigger” to Huck. Huck’s eyes are opened to the possibility that Jim is a man and not someone’s property.
It may be suprising but Huck Finn wasn't considered a racist for the time that this story occurred. Huck Finn acted and thought just like many other Southerners,
(Huck) We blowed out a cylinder head. (Aunt Sally) Good gracious! Anybody hurt?
(Huck) No'm killed a nigger. (Aunt Sally) Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt."
Back then Negroes were treated as objects or animals. The word 'nigger' was the normal word for a black person. To be black meant you were someone’s property. Black people were not human and they were of little importance to the white man’s cause. But Huck Finn peers through the programmed views of discrimination and sees Jim as a person with feelings, personality, and over the course of the novel, Jim and Huck become like a family. They sacrifice their own needs to provide for each...