Huck Finn Racism

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Huckleberry Finn is a popular American classic written by Mark Twain. Although it is a popular classic, it is surrounded by many debates and questions over the book’s controversial issue of racism. The story is about a young boy named Huck Finn, who is running away from civilization with a runaway slave named Jim. The story covers Huck’s character development and realization of Jim’s caring personality, that leads to the two becoming good friends. Huckleberry Finn is not a racist book because of the time period it was written in, the fact that Twain shows Jim in a positive manner, and themes used throughout the book. Huckleberry Finn is not a racist book because of the time period the story was written in. The book was written in the late …show more content…
One of the most important themes in the story is Huck overcoming stereotypes and forming his own morals by becoming friends with Jim. Ralph Ellison said,
‘Huckleberry Finn knew, as did Mark Twain, that Jim was not only a slave but a human being a symbol of humanity. . . and in freeing Jim, Huck makes a bid to free himself of the conventionalized evil taken for civilization by the town’ - in other words, of the abomination of slavery itself. (Salwen)
Jim and Huck overcome racism and society’s expectations in order to become friends. Huck’s moral nature is funny and serious. He often confuses right and wrong. He struggles with his beliefs because many of the morals he struggles with have been taught to him since he was a child. His struggles with his morals are a beautiful example of human nature (Courant Reviews Huck). Another theme used in the story is the friendship formed between Jim and Huck. Valkeakari believes that Jim not only has a friendship with Huck, but in a way forms a fatherly figure for Huck. This is shown in the scene where Huck and Jim find the floating house in the river and Jim tells Huck to not look at the dead body. Jim wants to protect Huck from seeing his dead father. Huck then listens without questioning Jim, just like a son would do (Valkeakari
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Many people believe the book is racist due to this fact. NewSouth Books is creating a version of Huckleberry Finn that replaces the ‘n’ word with ‘slave’ (Moore A3). Randall Kennedy expressed his thoughts that replacing the word with ‘slave’, just isn’t the same (Moore A3). The word carries weight and attitudes that affect the mood of the story. These moods create the themes of the story of friendship and morals. The words and attitudes make the reader sympathize with Jim, which is the opposite of being racist towards Jim. Sally Hansen is a teacher who taught students for 35 years. She believes that the solution with this word is not to change the book, but rather to educate the reader (Moore

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