Society and Hypocrisy Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Though Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after the abolition of slavery in the United States, the novel itself is set before the Civil War, when slavery was still legal and the economic foundation of the American South. While slaveholders profit from slavery, the slaves themselves are oppressed, exploited, and physically and mentally abused.
This period is wrought with outright racism and violence. Ideas of African-Americans as inferior or subhuman were so infused into the general culture that even white supporters of the African-American cause held notions that are now considered racist.
Mark Twain, although antislavery, is a racist, which he displays by his belittlement of African-American culture, general exoneration of southern white culture, and his dismissive portrayal of Jim.
Therefore, because Twain presents African-Americans as foolhardy and gullible, he is representing his own views of blacks. African-Americans have possessed, as a part of their African heritage, a lively oral tradition.
If the events in the novel represented a historical account it can be taken as an observation, but this is not the case, and as part of a fictional novel it is a criticism.
In a letter to Pamela A. Being a personal communication we can tell that — even if Twain did not consider the word nigger to be offensive — he considered a black person to be inferior. He effectively puts the African-American at the level of a child that has to be given leeway or more responsibility as he matures.
This diminution of any culture amounts to racism because it casts down and marginalizes the group as a whole. Although Twain uses satire throughout the novel to criticize his white southern contemporaries, he nevertheless manages to exonerate these characters time and time again.
In fact, in his own letters, he manages to poke fun of his white counterparts by reducing them to the status of African-Americans. Therefore, he might be criticizing general aspects of Southern slave-owning whites, but he is still excusing their behavior by saying it is better than blacks.
Twain implies that whites are superior.
Whites, according to the novel, can commit indiscriminate murder, enslave a group of people, be terrible and barbarous parents, but it is they who will be honest and loyal. To have these qualities is what defines a good person, and that person is ultimately white in nature, even if he or she physically represents a different race.
Twain does an excellent job at both condemning and then exonerating white southern culture at the expense of the African-American and in this particular case Jim. There is only one character without a last name in the whole novel, Jim. The rest are either referred to by respectful titles, such as Judge Thatcher, or their full name is known by the introduction of the family, such as Aunt Polly Phelps.
Even Pap, which Twain does not give a first name, has a Christian last name, Finn. Jim, however, is not given this honor. It is possible to be antislavery but still a racist. Jim is reduced to either the role of comic relief or a childish two-dimensional character throughout the novel.
John Sutherland describes this type of racism as casual racism and explains it in the following manner: The novel is set in the s… If Jim can wait another 20 years, the Civil War will reunite his family. But the novel does not worry about this marital misery. It has more important things to narrate.
Even as a free slave he is still de facto inferior to the other characters."Obviously, Mark Twain was a man of his times who reported on things as he saw them," he said. "He ridiculed and made fun of everybody, indiscriminate in his criticisms.
However, Mark Twain was a strong advocate of eliminating slavery and racial prejudice in America.
The book is actually a criticism of slavery and racism, as the slave catchers and owners are the antagonists of .
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, has a variety of themes throughout the book, but one prevalent theme is coming of age for Huck.
The book takes us on the adventures of a young boy trying to grow up amidst many difficulties, the least of which is a father who is an alcoholic, con-artist who becomes abusive when under the . Jul 31, · Huckleberry Finn, often considered Twain’s greatest work, is widely revered as a scathing satire, deriding slavery and racism.
Some people (including recently, some typical school boards) misjudge it - because it (perhaps too accurately) depicts life in the antebellum South, including many references that (on the surface) appear to support slavery.
No Fear Literature by SparkNotes features the complete edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn side-by-side with an accessible, plain English translation. Essay on Huck Finn And Racism Words | 4 Pages. In the book, Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, the main character Huck, is able to look past conformist and the effects of his environment.
Huck was born into a society that was supposed to hate black people.