November 02, 2005
Smith - Huck, Jim, and American Racial Discourse
I loved this article because it really sticks up for this book not being racist. Any reader coming into this book can easily pick up that there are serious racial discriminations, but this does not mean that Mark Twain was supporting racial discrimination in any way. He was actually doing the opposite and anyone that does a close, clear reading of Huck Finn will understand.
Mark Twain shows this in one way by Jim. "Indeed, his portrayal of Jim contradicts every claim presented in Jefferson's description of "the Negro." Jim is cautious, he gives excellent advice, he suffers anguish over separation from his wife and children, and he even sacrifices his own sleep so that Huck may rest. Jim, in short, exhibits all the qualities that "the Negro" supposedly lacks." I think that it comes off first like there is some racism, but then if we really look how Jim is presented we see that the author is trying to warm us up to Jim. Mark Twain is trying to get the reader to leave their discriminations and start to open people up. It is also comical to think that they treated black people as if they weren'y people. Or at least I find it funny because it is like the people were so blind.
Posted by MichelleKoss at November 2, 2005 03:02 PM