Not what it seems

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EL 266

"Racial discourse maintains that the 'Negro' exterior is all that a Negro really has" (Smith 365)

Which is exactly why Jim goes against the idea of a "negro." By including Jim in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twian shows that Jim is more than simply a "nigger." Jim has a family that he cares for, intelligence to question Tom Sawyer's foolish plot and the compassion to take care of Huck Finn. Jim has much more than the "Negro exterior."

However it is important to note that, "Jim is not Uncle Tom" (Smith 367). Yes, he patiently endures the afflictions placed upon him by Tom Sawyer, but he is not being portrayed as a figurehead for Chirst. On the contrary, Jim has hs own faults. I think Twain's representation of Jim was a very "middle of the road" type. Jim is not a saint, but he is certainly not just a slave.

Many schools ban the work because it uses the word, "nigger," but I think this is a fantastic time to bring up the discussion of racism. If teachers would include the study of Jim as a person, and the actual contextual use of the word, they would be able to discuss the satire of Twain's language. On the other hand, that may be too tough for a high school class....

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