An Analysis of Racism in Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain’s novel “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” is considered one of the most controversial work of American literature ever to be published. It is a novel that many people have found to be disturbing. Although some might argue that the novel is extremely racist, carefully considering the setting and timing of the novel one be might be able to prove just the opposite.

I believe that “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” is not a racist novel, nor is Mark Twain as a racist author. Furthermore, the novel is undoubtable one of the finest masterpiece. According to Ernest Hemingway, it is “one book” from which “all modern American literature” came. The repeated use of the word “nigger” is one of the most frequent objection to this novel.

Many critics have tried to use the frequent use of “nigger” as a proof of the racist nature of the novel. Some critics argued that Twain tried to differentiate between the society’s cold-heartedness to the humanity that existed in Jim. We cannot forget that the story takes place before the civil war where slavery was one of the primary influence on race relations. At first, it is necessary to understand the history of slavery and then the degradation of the race relations in the United Sates when the book was written.

To paint an accurate picture of the southern estates without using the word “nigger” would have be impossible (Besant) and this is what exactly Twain tried to bring out. For instance, in the book, Jim meets Huck on the Jackson’s Island and explains him the reason for his escape. This scene can be historically connected. Their conversation shows slaves as property, where slave’s owner often sold their slaves during financial crisis (Johnson). This was one of the major reasons why slave families gradually started to separate.

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Not only did Twain showed us how the slave families were separated but also how they were treated. For another instance, in one of…