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Racism And Prejudice Over Slavery In Mark Twain’s Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

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Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the great American novels it is also one of the novels considered to be racist, and many feel that it should be taken out of the school curriculum. Considering the United States’ widely diverse culture and the history behind the nation. the debate over Huckleberry Finn is one that is influenced by many parents, educators, and most importantly students. The novel is considered the one that all other American literature stems from but it is almost constantly brought under scrutiny for the racial aspects, the sexist qualities and the almost laughable ending. The debate over whether or not the book is truly racist strongly impacts the decision on whether or not the book should be taught in the American public school classroom.

While there are racial elements in the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the novel as a whole is not racist and should still be taught in the upper levels of public school because of the historical realism and the true meaning that Mark Twain meant to represent.The use of the n-word in Huckleberry Finn causes a huge reaction to the novel. Obviously, there are different reactions depending on culture, historical opinions, and what race one happens to be. However, one also has to take into account Twain’s usage of the word, and what he wants the word to symbolize. While many do not approve of Twain’s usage in Huckleberry Finn,it is not implied that he uses the term in a racial way. The use of the n-word in the novel does not necessarily have to represent the racial opinions of Mark Twain, and does not make the novel racist.

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To many, using the n-word means that one implies racism and intends to degrade others. To many African Americans, the use of this term is wrong, and in today’s culture this is true. a Caucasian American uses the n-word, many feel that this is improper and racist whether they are referring to an African American or not. According to Langston Hughes, who is quoted by Peaches Henry, the n-word to colored people is like a red rag to a bull. The n-word you see sums up for us who are colored all the bitter years of insult and struggle in America. There were many years were African Americans were treated wrongly in the United States of America both before and after the abolition of slavery. As a Caucasian American one is typically taught that this term should not be used as it is harmful to others feelings. While the term should not be used by anyone in a harmful manner, that does not mean that students should not be exposed to historical reality in the proper setting the classroom. In Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain is not necessarily attempting to be racist.

Although Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the late nineteenth century. He set his novel decades earlier when slavery was still legal. Making his book an extended exploration of the morality of one person owning another human being. As long as the country as a whole condoned and benefited from the practice of slavery no black American could consider himself truly free. Which is why Jim’s emancipation at the end of the book is bittersweet rather than fully triumphant. His wife and children are still slaves, as are all the other enslaved characters in the story.

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Racism And Prejudice Over Slavery In Mark Twain’s Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from
“Racism And Prejudice Over Slavery In Mark Twain’s Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn.” Edubirdie, 08 Jul. 2022,
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Racism And Prejudice Over Slavery In Mark Twain’s Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 08 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from:
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