Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Term Paper on Huckleberry Finn

Research Paper on Huckleberry Finn

"Banned!" a common reaction to Mark Twain's controversial novel Huckleberry Finn. What is it about this novel of the realism era that provides so much racial tension? Why is this novel known as both "America's greatest novel" and "America's most racist novel?"

Twain was a man of the North; he was against slavery and supported civil rights. As previously addressed, Twain was an author in the realism era, thus he was a realist. Speaking of the word "real," that's a word that I have narrowed down to describe Huckleberry Finn Finn; it's real in every aspect of the word. The language used in the novel is a reflection of the time period.


The language is the biggest controversy concerning the novel. The word "nigger," is used over 200 times in the novel! Some argue the racism in the concept, but I say it's "real" language. The words "African-American" and/or "colored" were not yet "invented" during these times. If you were black, you were most likely a slave and labeled as a "nigger." So, for those who argue Twain's vernacular, I ask, "Would you rather a fake, sugar-coated aspect of the times? Are you afraid or resentful of the truth?" I say, the truth is present and must be addressed, otherwise there will be NO change; we must educate our youth.

Jim, is a runaway slave in the novel; there is much controversy in the character Jim. It is argued that Twain depicts Jim as a stupid, inhuman creature. Is this another form of racism? I think not! Granted, in the novel Jim is an ignorant, uneducated man, but so were most slaves. And yes, Twain does use Jim as a form of comic relief, but not in a racial aspect, because he also makes light of Huckleberry's ignorance as a child. Moreover, Twain uses the King and the Duke as comic relief and they are white thieves.

Next, Jim is human. Twain expresses this in the section were Jim tells Huckleberry of his deaf daughter. Also, throughout the novel, Jim's humanity is apparent because of his devotion and loyalty to Huckleberry. Jim could have easily had his freedom if he had abandoned Huckleberry, but his human instincts and heart keep him with Huckleberry because he realizes that Huckleberry is merely a helpless child. Jim serves as a father figure for Huckleberry, guiding him and protecting him.

In conclusion, Twain isn't racist! I think this book goes beyond black and white; maybe that's the only thing readers see and expect, which causes the reader to already have preconceptions of the novel before even reading it, thus ruining the whole point of the novel which is to tell reader's how opposed Twain was to slavery. And if this is the case, I don't think that the novel is for them at all! Not to be redundant, but I cannot stress enough how "real" Twain writes; I mean a reader must recognize this and appreciate it, because it is a lesson; Twain crosses many boundaries with racial slurs and satire and exaggeration, all these are his stylistic devices that tell the reader how wrong slavery was. So if the novel pisses you off, GOOD! That's the intent, you should be angry about the practice of slavery. I recommend this advanced, informative novel to high school students, this is a key to our past, take advantage of it and learn a thing or to about American history first hand from Mark Twain!

Warning!!! All free sample term papers and college term paper examples on Huckleberry Finn topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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