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Huckleberry Finn Slavery Essay

  • Submitted by: chenmaster
  • on November 25, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,620 words

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Below is an essay on "Huckleberry Finn Slavery" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Slavery, A Cruel Southern Joke

Lashes were brandished onto slaves in the antebellum South, and even after blood was shed on both sides of the Civil War to eventually grant their freedom, African Americans were still shackled by chains of discrimination.   During the antebellum era, Africans Americans were considered property and not human in Southern society. Few Southerners believed slavery was unethical, and even fewer publicly denounced such an opinion. However, Mark Twain took an abolitionist stance against slavery, and voiced his opposition to slavery through his satirical novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. On a superficial level, Mark Twain portrays Jim, the escaped slave, as a simpleton with seemingly little intelligence. Though with further study, the observer realizes Jim is a noble figure with great integrity and intellectual depth. Jim becomes a surrogate father and loyal friend to the protagonist Huckleberry Finn. The book employs a crude Southern vernacular along with subtle satire to parody an immoral provincial South. If the novel is read superficially, it can be misconstrued as a degenerate attack on African Americans. Even some contemporary teachers are reluctant to teach this book, because it is challenging to convey the true intent of the novel. However, Twain’s use of language and characters allow him to mock racism in society by satirizing an antebellum America.
Through a societal viewpoint, it is apparent that Jim is not perceived as an equal. At the beginning of the novel, the reader is tempted to stereotype Jim since he is characterized as a naive and superstitious slave. For instance, when Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn attempt to outwit him, Jim falls for the ruse and claims “witches bewitched him” (Twain 15). This fuels the reader’s characterization of Jim as a stereotype slave character than a satirical symbol. However as the novel progresses, Jim’s complex mental capacity and greater moral character become apparent. Stephen Railton...

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Huckleberry Finn Slavery. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/Huckleberry-Finn-Slavery-357987.html