Huck, who grew up playing tricks on others with Tom Sawyer, realizes for the first time that African-American slaves are capable of feeling pain, and he learns that true friends do not try to hurt each other.For example, Huck tries to play a prank on Jim, not expecting his serious reaction.
Huck, who grew up playing tricks on others with Tom Sawyer, realizes for the first time that African-American slaves are capable of feeling pain, and he learns that true friends do not try to hurt each other.For example, Huck tries to play a prank on Jim, not expecting his serious reaction.Tags: Essays On FeminismMadness Of King Lear EssayEssay On Save Petrol And Other Fuels2007 Global Regents Thematic EssayEducation Is Empowerment EssayEthical Argument Essay TopicsComputing Dissertation TopicsCompleted AssignmentsOhio State Diversity Essay
That they're saying that Twain saw him that way rather than that Huck did? Clemens as a child accepted without question, as Huck did, the idea that slaves were property; neither wanted to be called a "low-down Abolitionist" if he could possibly help it.
Between the time of that Hannibal childhood and adolescence, however, and the years in which Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn, Twain's consciousness changed.
Irony, history, and racism all painfully intertwine in our past and present, and they all come together in Huck Finn.
Because racism is endemic to our society, a book like Huck Finn, which brings the problem to the surface, can explode like a hand grenade in a literature classroom accustomed to the likes of Macbeth or Great Expectations -- works which exist at a safe remove from the lunchroom or the playground.
Though Huck and Jim bond throughout their journey, Huck struggles to overcome the way he was raised and see Jim as a person capable of feelings and emotions.
Throughout his journey down the Mississippi, Huck is faced with challenges where he must decide Jim's fate, but as his bond with Jim grows stronger, he begins to "unlearn" the racist views he was taught and see Jim as a human being.
"We have ground the manhood out of them," Twain wrote Dean Wayland on Christmas Eve, 1885, "and the shame is ours, not theirs, & we should pay for it." Ask your students: why does a writer who holds these views create a narrator who is too innocent and ignorant to challenge the topsy-turvy moral universe that surrounds him?
"All right, then, I'll go to Hell," Huck says when he decides not to return Jim to slavery.
Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Professor of American Studies and English at the University of Texas, is the author of Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture (Oxford University Press, 1997) and Was Huck Black?
Mark Twain and African American Voices (Oxford University Press, 1993).