Racism in Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

Essay by atticus88 August 2005

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In the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck goes through

many adventures on the Mississippi River. He escapes from Pap and

sails down the Mississippi with an escaped slave named Jim. Huck goes

through the moral conflict of how wrong it is to be helping Jim escape

to freedom. Eventually Huck decides he will help Jim and actually

steals him from a farmer with the help of Tom Sawyer, a friend.

Eventhough Huck and Jim are trying to sail to the Ohio River which

leads to freedom, they pass it in the dark.

Over the course of the novel Huck's opinion of Jim changes. In the

beginning of their voyage, Huck feels he shouldn't be helping Jim to

freedom and almost turns him in to slave catchers Twain 87 "I was

paddling off, all in a sweat to tell on him; but when he says this

(that Huck is his one and only friend) it seemed to take the tuck all

out of me.".

Huck begins to enjoy having Jim's company, and when Jim

is sold by the Duke and the King, Huck breaks down and cries while

asking the Duke where Jim is Twain 208 "'sold him' I says, and begun

to cry; 'why he was my nigger, and that was my money. Where is he?-- I

want my nigger.". Then Huck steals Jim from the Phelps farm

(eventhough he was already set free by Miss Watson's will). Huck Finn

changes as we go through the story because Jim is really almost his

slave and he grows to like having Jim wait on him.

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain depicts Southern life and society

in the 1870's. The main point that Twain makes is that Southern life

is not as glorious as it's made out to...