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Racism Can Go to Hell

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:24 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.2 
  • Words: 1472
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Although Mark Twain loved his Southern roots, he greatly detested the establishment of slavery and its prominence in the society in which he lived.   Throughout his novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain criticizes the basis for slavery and those who attempt to justify its morality.   As Huck travels down the Mississippi River, he discovers an increasing amount of not only falsities in society’s perspective on blacks, but also its hypocrisies.   Along with Huck, the reader grows increasingly indignant towards a society that imprisons and oppresses black people.   Near the end of the novel, Huck decides to reject societal beliefs about racism and rescues Jim from slavery.   Twain uses Huck’s actions and thoughts before his “go to hell” (Twain 283) claim in Chapter 31 to bring about the culmination of the novel’s underlying theme of the hypocrisy and moral depravity associated with the Southern institution of slavery.

Before Huck decides to rescue Jim, he debates whether slavery possesses a justified foundation.   As Huck recalls his “trip down the river” (283), he slowly begins to realize the misconceptions regarding black people through his personal experiences with Jim.   One such notion includes the belief that all black people lack compassion.   Huck poignantly recalls the instances in which he encounters Jim crying at night because of his separation from his wife and children.   Southern society also believes in the ignorance of blacks.   The depth of Jim’s wisdom and insightfulness disproves this belief.   In Chapter 15, Huck tries to trick Jim into believing he dreamt the fog incident, but Jim uses his ingenuity to discover the truth.   Huck also realizes from the fog incident the lack of truth behind the conviction that Blacks possess a naturally savage state-of-mind.   The fog incident also disproves this claim.   After Jim realizes how Huck tried to trick him, he does not display any sense of rage or hatred.   Rather, Jim simply mentions to Huck how sad he...

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