Adventures of Huck Finn
Mark Twain wrote "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in the 1800’s.

During this time slavery was socially acceptable. Even in the church it was
taught that there was nothing wrong with slavery. Black people were often
referred to as "niggers". Huck, even though he was a friend of Jim, didn’t
even think twice about calling a black person a nigger. Huck would say things
like "Give a nigger an inch and he’ll take an ell."(86) He didn’t see
anything wrong with using language like this. He didn’t see anything wrong
with it because he was taught to call black people niggers just like his dad did
and everyone else around him did also. During this period in history in the
south, that is how people talked. I think the meaning of the word nigger was
different then than it is now. The word nigger was used in this book because in
the 1800’s it was common language. It did not have the same impact on a person
back then as it does today. Jim even uses the word nigger freely as if it does
not have any meaning to it. He says, "I wouldn’t ‘low no nigger to call me
dat."(77) Jim does not seem to be offended by the word because he uses the
word himself. I think that the African Americans at this time are so prone to
hearing this word used that they do not even think about what the meaning of the
word nigger is. I do not think Huck really knew what the true meaning of the
word nigger was. I think he just thought it was another name for a person that
was black. If there is anyone in this novel that has an anti-racism attitude, it
is Huck. He is the one who helped Jim escape to freedom when nobody else would
have cared. Huck was Jim’s only friend and I think Jim knew it. When Huck
found Jim on Jackson Island, Jim trusted Huck enough to tell him what he had
done. Jim said, "...you wouldn’t tell on me ef I ‘uz to tell you, would
you Huck?"(42) Although Huck often pondered about whether or not he should
turn Jim in, he never did. Huck stuck by Jim’s side the whole time even though

Jim was black. Huck looked beyond the color of Jim’s skin and saw that he was
a real person and not just a nigger. It is kind if ironic that Miss Watson, a
proper woman that attends church regularly who calls herself a Christian, owns a
slave. This just shows us that during this time people were taught that there
was nothing wrong with slavery. The simple fact that Jim belonged to Miss Watson
made it hard for Huck’s conscience to help him escape from slavery. Huck knew
it was wrong to help a slave run away. He always felt bad about helping Miss

Watson’s slave run away. He kept thinking, "What had poor Miss Watson done
to you that you could see her nigger go off right under your eyes and never say
one single word?"(85) But even knowing this, he helped Jim anyway. Huck had a
caring heart, and he cared about Jim. Huck’s love and dedication to Jim helps
us over look the frequent use of the word nigger. Huck does not pay attention to
the fact that Jim is black, and a nigger, and he befriends him. He ignores what
his society says at that time period in the 1800’s about blacks. The only
reason for the use of the nigger in this book is because of the vernacular in
this area. Huck does not know that this word is bad because nobody ever told him
it wrong to say it. He grew up hearing it used excessively and therefore he used
the word nigger in his speech without even thinking twice about it.