Huck Finn Literary Criticism Essay

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn As one of the most controversial literary work in the world, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn receive ambivalent reviews from people. People debate whether it is appropriate to be taught in school throughout the centuries; some regard it as a classic, while others consider it as a trash. Set in a southern antebellum society, the novel describes the story between Huck Finn, a white boy, and Jim, a black slave. Mark Twain promotes anti-racism in the work, but not by direct expression. He uses techniques such as irony and satire to reproduce the situation of black people and asks readers for understanding. This intention requires readers’ cogitative thinkings. So The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is suitable …show more content…
Many people are antagonistic toward The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because it seems offensive to the black people. Twain shapes many racist characters in the work such as pap who says “It was 'lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn 't too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they 'd let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I 'll never vote agin.”(Twain 39) Through this, being ugly to black people, pap does not recognize the rights of them. This is a country of freedom where each individual is naturally given the rights. Pap is being ignorant and illogically mean to black people. However, pap is not an exception in the work; most characters show their ignorance and hostilities to the black. Not only the character’s attitude, but also their dictions-using are considered an offense to black people. The most noticeable issue must be the usage of word “nigger”. The word originated as a neutral word from Spanish and Portuguese to describe black …show more content…
Twain uses language that seems offensive to help promote the anti-racism; he plays with the technique of irony and satire. “He’s a runaway nigger, and they’ve got him.”(Twain 220) “There’s two hundred dollars reward on him. It’s like picking up money out’n the road.”(Twain 220) These ugly words come from a random boy whom Huck catches to ask for Jim. Twain builds a conflict here between the boy and Huck. Huck has already got rid of the secular morality of slavery, regarded Jim as a human equal to him and decided to help him gain freedom; by contrast, the boy views the runaway slave, Jim, as a goods with considerable values that can be traded arbitrarily but not a human with natural rights. Twain satirizes here; even a little boy holds the racism, it can well be imagined that majority of people at that point of time were for the racism even though there were few people against racism like Huck. Exactly reflecting the miserable situation that black people faced back in the 1830s, the offensive language appeals people to put themselves in the black’s position to consider the issues. When people read through the novel, they may feel offended, disparaged and painful, especially of the “n-word”. David Bradley, a professor who studies The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, argues that the word hurts because it does have meanings. The “n-word” hurts people’s feelings

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