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Racism in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and other black anti-racist leaders fought against discrimination. They fought a battle that has gone on longer than many people have been around, back in the 1800’s. In the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain, twain wants us to see how this battle rages on today, affecting many people’s everyday lives.

The book itself is very racist toward African Americans in which the word “nigger” is used. Many people use this word today, but back when Huck was around using vulgar discriminating words was a regular thing. So the question is how is racism still shown today in the 20th century and the relationship in how Twain describes it in his book?

First racial thing in the book is when Toms talking to Huck about breaking Jim out of jail. Tom says, “Give a nigger a inch and he e’ll” (88). When he says this he is saying that if you give a black person freedom, it’s giving them way too much.

But Huck isn’t fond of using such a poignant word to Jim. Racism plays a big part when the King and the Duke show up on the raft with them. When they stay with the girls in the house, the sophomoric type of Duke says “I should ‘a’ reckoned the differences in the rank would sejested that a corn-shuck bed wont fit for me to sleep on .

Your Grace’ll take the shuck bed yourself” (126). This shows his destitute for taking Jim seriously as a person and not just some dumb slave. The use of racist and vulgar words was constantly heard from the white adults as well as the children in the novel. “…was Jim a runaway nigger?”(126). Out of all the pieces of literature this book is known by many people worldwide, not only does things in this book still happen today, we can all relate this book.

The lack of care the whites had for blacks, thus, the whites have lost nearly all of their respect. This was Mark Twain’s indirect way of showing the whites inequality to the blacks. In today’s age, the ideas of racism have definitely changed. Slavery is no more, and even the use of such language as “nigger,” is considered vulgar. But, as children such as Huck and Tom grew up considering slavery the “normal,” children today grow up learning the exact opposite.

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