Adventures Of Huck Finn
Ever since it was written, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn has been a novel that
many people have found disturbing. Although some argue that the novel is
extremely racist, careful reading will prove just the opposite. In recent years
especially, there has been an increasing debate over what some will call the
racist ideas in the novel. In some cases the novel has even been banned by
public school systems and censored by public libraries. The basis for the debate
is how Jim, a black slave and one of the main characters, is depicted. However,
if one was to look at the underlying themes in the novel, they would realize
that it is not racist and could even be considered an anti – slavery novel.

The most popular problem people have with this book is the use of the word"nigger". It must be remebered that during this time period it was not
considered much of an insullt. You can also notice in the book it was not meant
offensively by Huck, or taken offensively by Jim. This is what Stephan Shepard
had to say about the banning of the book and the use of the word "nigger":

In addition to removing Mark Twain\'s novel from the required reading list, the
district decided to use a censored version of the novel on its optional list.

Admittedly, the censorship is minor the infamous "n-word" is deleted
throughout the novel – however, it is not only a dishonest alteration of

Twain\'s craft, it is also an unfair attempt to enforce the tastes of a few upon
all students in the district. (Shepard 1) Also a column in The New York Times
pointed out, "Huckleberry Finn is in constant trouble with teachers,
librarians and parents because of its iterations of "nigger", a word that
has a preemptive force today that it did not have in Huck Finn\'s Mississippi

Valley of the 1840s" (Ritter 2). Another aspect of the novel that some
consider racist is the description of Jim. The first time the reader meets Jim,
a very negative description is given. It is said that Jim is illiterate,
childlike, not very bright and extremely superstitious. However, it is important
not to lose sight of who is giving this description. Although Huck is not
exactly a racist child, he has been raised by extremely racist individuals and
has had certain ideas about blacks put in his head. Also, sad as it is, this
description was probably pretty accurate for the time period. Millions of slaves
in the South were not permitted any formal education, were not allowed any
independent thought and were constantly abused. Twain is portraying a very
realistic slave raised in the South during this time period, and to say that he
is racist because of his historical accuracy is ridiculous. Casting judgment
upon him and calling him racist is not only unfair, but also pointless. The
values of Twain’s time were different than the values of today. The very
existence of slavery proves this. Twain has no obligation to live up to
today’s morals or ethical values, and cannot be expected to because they did
not exist when he was alive. Therefore, the present-day objections to

Huckleberry Finn are ridiculous. It is stupidity to go back and apply standards
that are predominate today, to novels written more than a hundred years ago (Baldanza

2). Also, it is important to remember in Chapter 15, the reader is told of an
incident which contradicts the original childlike description of Jim. In fact,
the reader is presented with a very caring and father – like individual who
becomes very worried when he loses Huck in the fog (Twain 134). This is in order
to point out the connection made between Huck and Jim. A connection that is made
between two people, not a person and a piece of property. There are many points
in the novel were Huck voices extreme opposition to the slave trade and racism.

In chapter six, Huck’s father intensely objects to the government granting
suffrage to an educated black professor. Twain wants the reader to see the
foolishness of this statement. Huck’s father believes that he is superior to
this black professor simply because of the color of his skin (Twain 69). Huck
oppeses this statement made by his father and does not understand. Twain wants
the reader to see the foolishness of this notion. Another example of Huck’s
opposition to slavery is when Huck first meets Jim he makes a conscious decision
not to turn him in. Later in the story, Huck is not able