Controversial Criticism Of Huck Finn
The novel may also be Twain’s most controversial. First published in 1884 in the United Kingdom and made it to the United States a year later. Huckleberry Finn runs away from an abusive father and takes a journey down the Mississippi River on a raft with runaway slave Jim. (Britannica) Huck is modeled after Twain’s childhood companion, impoverished boy, Tom Blankenship. Tom’s brother secretly gave food to run away slaves and was killed for it, which served as inspiration for Huck’s decision to help Jim. Jim was inspired by a slave named Daniel on his Uncle’s farm, who would tell him stories when Twain visited the farm during the summer. Twain witnessed a man dying in the streets after being shot and is the basis for the Boggs shooting. …show more content…
The Missouri Compromise of 1820 secured Missouri’s entry as a slave state. In 1850 the fugitive slave act preventing anyone from helping a runaway slave without risking arrest. Slavery had been incorporated of life in the United States since 1641 when Massachusetts recognized it as a legal institution. Rights were never given to any slave and formally sanctioned by the supreme court in 1857 with the Dred Scott decision. Even after the war was over and freedom from slavery was granted, liberty was not present. If African-Americans could say society gave them equal liberties, Twain may have never published Huck Finn twenty years after the end of the civil war. (Smith)
Growing up in a slave state, one would most likely learn to accept it. Twain had been told his whole life that slavery was an institution approved by God. He never viewed slavery with the same acceptance. He carried memories of sadness and cruelty with him his whole life. In his life he discovered two men died because of a widespread endorsement of slavery. A man stabbed to death was in his father’s office and his friends and he found the body of a disfigured slave in the Mississippi River.