Considering Mark Twains Attitude English Literature Essay Free Essay
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain portrays how Southern society accepts, unquestioningly the rule of bondage. Through the character of Huck and his internal arguments, we see the struggle between what is morally right and what is lawfully enforced, and it is through the eyes of Huck that Twain presents the issue of bondage. At the beginning of the novel we see Huck oppressed by the Widow Douglas ‘s outlooks into conforming, and in some ways one might see that Huck himself is a slave ; to the ideals of society. We learn in the first chapter that Huck is lonely and seeks a less restrictive life through agencies of flight ;
‘she took me for her boy and allowed she would sivilize me ; but it was unsmooth life in the house all the clip, sing how blue regular and nice the widow was in all her ways ; and so when I could n’t stand it no longer, I lit out. I got into my old shred, and my sugar-hogshead once more, and was free and satisfied ‘ . [ 1 ]
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It is besides within this first chapter, that we are introduced to slaves as characters in the novel. Huck ‘s description of Miss Watson ‘s large nigga, named Jim, ‘ [ 2 ] may connote a racist attitude towards Jim, nevertheless shortly after he counteracts this by his obvious awe and one might reason ; regard for Jim ; ..he was more looked up to than any nigga in that state. ‘ [ 3 ] This obvious contradiction besides sets a form for the remainder of the novel, as we see the interior battle Huck faces in order to either conform to society ‘s outlooks and handle black people in the socially recognized mode, or to follow his bosom and handle all people the same ; harmonizing to how good they earn his regard.
Huck and Jim, as improbable a brace as they might look, organize a bond through the class of the novel that supersedes friendly relationship, one might
travel so far as to state their relationship is about that of male parent and boy, which may hold been the purpose of the forward believing Twain. For a black slave to be the male parent of a white boy, is of class at this clip impossible by society ‘s criterions, nevertheless by showing the reader with such impossibleness, he, at the same clip shows how impossiblenesss can be overcome ; does Jim non do for a far more suited function theoretical account than the rummy Pap? And so it bit by bit becomes clear that the two characters leave the restraints of society behind them and make their ain universe on the water- it is within this universe that the influence of social values are suppressed in favor of a more logical, practical system of values
Throughout the novel we see how visual aspect and clamber coloring material is the lone standards considered by society in finding who is afforded rights, it appears that regardless of how immoral a white adult male might be, he is still afforded more power than that of a extremely moral black character like Jim. The fact that Pap is awarded detention of Huck illustrates this deficiency of logic in determinations made by society. The novel continuously presents the reader with these attitudes through the characters of Huck and Jim and their journeying relationship. Twain takes a deliberate hazard with the character of Jim, who is a runaway slave in hunt of actual and nonliteral freedom from the restraints that society inflicts upon him as a slave, for Twain must hold realised the possible power of his authorship and still take to make a character in Jim that breaks all the regulations ; he is presented as intelligent, analytical, extremely moral and yet he is black.
Here one could reason that Twain ‘s really willingness to portray such an built-in character like Jim, whom the readers will sympathize with, nowadayss an attitude that is doubtless anti- bondage, as Gray explains ; The book is about the historical unfairness of bondage, of class, and the societal unfairness of racism, the human usage or denial of human existences. ‘ [ 4 ]
However, the novel ‘s attitude to bondage is at times equivocal, chiefly due to the fact that it is Huck ‘s narrative, so we are merely to larn his point of position, and are left to construe the other characters ‘ attitudes through Huck ‘s descriptions of their actions. It appears at times that Huck is without bias towards his black friend in one case, as we see in chapter 11 with Huck ‘s anxiousness to assist maintain Jim out of danger, Git up and hunch yourself, Jim! There ai n’t a minute to
lose. They ‘re after us! ‘ [ 5 ] However we besides see another side to Huck ‘s attitude, as he sometimes sees Jim as a slave, as belongings that should be returned.
Despite the radical racial equality presented to the reader throughout the novel, it could be argued that racism still plays its portion in the overall secret plan. As we can see when Jim and Huck are separated in the fog and Huck efforts to flim-flam Jim into believing he had dreamt the whole thing, Jim is non happy when he realises what Huck has done and vocalises his displeasure
Dat truck dash is trash ; en rubbish is what people is dat puts soil on de caput Er dey fren ‘s nut makes em ashamed ‘ [ ] It made me experience so average I could about snog his pes to acquire him to take it back.
It was 15 proceedingss before I could work myself up to travel and humble myself to a nigga… ‘ [ 6 ]
Written during a clip in which racial inequality is the norm, these ideas of Huck ‘s are to the full apprehensible, though because of Twain ‘s presentation of Jim, the reader might good be shocked that Huck could look so racist towards him. This displays the perennial subject of Huck ‘s uncertainness over what takes precedence ; on the one manus he has what his upbringing has ingrained within him in footings of the intervention of slaves, and yet on the other he feels that this is incorrect and values Jim ‘s friendly relationship. One might propose that this changeless battle within Huck is what gives the novel ‘s attitudes against bondage such strength ; the reader is presented with both right and incorrect and although one may come to one ‘s ain decisions at some point in the novel, Huck ‘s changeless alteration of sentiment will doubtless do oppugning. At one point in the novel it even appears that Jim becomes an object to Huck ; a piece of hoarded wealth, he about acts as though he owns Jim. For illustration, when Huck and Tom refer to let go ofing Jim from Slavery subsequently in the novel they do non see this as Jim ‘s existent freedom ; Tom Sawyer was in earnest and was really traveling to assist steal that nigger out of bondage. ‘ [ 7 ] The usage of the word bargain ‘ here highlights how even though Huck is in fact making a good title by Jim, he does n’t really free him because he stole him, intending in some little manner that Jim is so Huck ‘s belongings.
And so the arguement may go on… but as a author Twain holds a certain sum of responsibilty in stand foring such a historic period in clip factually, and in order to make a realistic representation he doubtless has to portray racism and slavery how it really was and to romanticize the topic would non merely be unrealistic in footings of narrative relation, but it would besides be an unfairness to American History and all those who suffered.