The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Tawin

Essay by kanatsulol May 2004

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The Southern Society

American authors tended to write about life in their times and culture. Mark Twain lived in the 1800's and witnessed the Civil War era. He used the plot of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to reveal the truths about life in the South during the pre Civil War time period. He asserted his opinions on human values such as ignorance and racism and showed his ridiculing views on religion and government institutions. Twain obviously was dissatisfied with the overall ethics of humanity and cleverly viewed on Southern Culture during the Reconstruction Era. The novel depicts the Southern culture with injustice of slavery, the hypocrisy of civilized society, and the society in general as ignorant and cruel.

Many southerners had never perceived slavery as anything but a natural part of life. The seemingly "good" white people such as Miss Watson and Sally Phelps expressed no concern about the injustice of slavery or the cruelty of separating Jim from his family.

When Huck reported only a nigger was killed from the blown of cylinder head, Aunt Sally replied "it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt"(p.167) showing that she disregarded niggers as human. In the Southern culture, if there were any way to blame a black man for a crime, the people would do it. "Some think old Finn done it himself... But before night they changed around and judged it was done by a runaway nigger named Jim."(p.42) Many people blamed Jim for "killing" Huck only because he ran away and he was black. In addition, Huckleberry joined in the common belief that blacks were less intelligent than whites. When Jim "...judged it was all up with him anyway it could be fixed; for if he didn't get saved he would get drownded; and if he did get...