The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

1119 Words Jan 8th, 2015 5 Pages
Mark Twain might have been racist. For over thirty years, critics of Mark Twain have called attention to the racial labeling in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as an example of the inherent racism of the author (Smith, Russell). If upbringing is any guarantee of racial attitudes a man will exhibit, then the early life of Mark Twain seemed to be an ideal breeding ground for a racist (Smith,Russell).
While working as a printer up North in 1853, Twain made a racist remark in an letter to his family (Smith, Russell). Mark Twain probably was not a racist, but of course made it slip sometimes, just like the common person does. A remark made by Twain in 1872 would also be construed by critics today as being racist in nature. Part of the criticism in the early racism accusations stemmed from the financial frustrations of growing up in a poor Southern family (Smith, Russell).
An examination of the Civil War record from Mark Twain also sheds some light on his Southern feelings about defending slavery and what he called the white “tainted aristocracy” (Smith, Russell). Mark Twain grew up in the south, he probably was raised to be a racist and could have been a racist at one point in his life. It is not just white critics that think Mark Twain is not a racist. Booker T. Washington thought thought that Twain “succeeded in making his readers feel genuine respect for Jim,” and he pointed out that Twain made the character of Jim to make the readers feel that he, “had…

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