The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn was written before the Civil war in the United States began.
The text tries to paint a picture of how the situation was in the United States. The fictional
characters who are the major characters in the story present racism. The idea behind the book is
to try and look at a friendship of two different races, two individuals brought up differently and
how it was going to last. This paper is therefore to examine the role that was played by racism in
the text, and how the characters of the individuals in the text were affected by the fact that they
came from two different races.
Jim and Huck developed their friendship while they were not on Miss. Watson’s property. Jim
was there as a slave whereas Huck was living there after being rescued. Their characters were
totally different, Jim was a mild-mannered slave while Huck was an adventurous person who
was out to make money. The issue of Racism comes in because Jim could not be able to
undertake any adventurous activity because he could not be able to move around easily. He was
a slave; therefore, his movements were limited.
Slaves were treated with so much brutality and inhumane manner, this has been explained with
the escape of Jim. Jim had gotten wind that he was going to be sold down south to a more brutal
owner (Mathew). This showed that slaves of African American descent were the once that were
slaves. This exposed them to mistreatment, which varied depending on the owner. It showed how
people who were whites treated those that were colored as their property. They did not have or
show any remorse to this type of people whom they found joy in enslaving.
Jim and Huck were friends according to the text. In the text, their friendship has been put to test
which has been able to show the kind of friends they are. For instance, when Jim and Huck
entered the house that was floating on the river, Jim found a naked lifeless body on the floor. He
prevents Huck from seeing the corpse. This showed how Jim cared about his friend Huck, he did
not want him to see a dead body (Leonard James and Thadious). Jim being a slave it was normal
for him to see dead bodies this was from the brutality that was being meted on them. Huck’s
character as friend was also painted in the text. Huck had dressed like a lady when he went to
gather information on what was going on since he had staged his death. Huck discovers that Jim
is a key suspect in his alleged murder, he informed Jim of the developments when he came back.
Based on the fear of being caught they leave hurriedly.
While on the run Huck made a joke to Jim that he had dreamt of him being searched for his
alleged murder. Jim is disappointed in how his friend could tease him like that. With remorse
Huck apologizes to him, although he is not at peace with his conscience. By the fact that Huck
was white he had seen himself being superior that Jim who was Black, therefore, he could not
understand how he was humbling himself for a black man. This draws a picture of how black
men were treated in that society, not only were they being enslaved, they were considered not be
people whom a white person could show his or her remorse towards. This is because they were
second class human beings.
The character of Blacks through Jim has been showed to be unintelligent people. Compared to
the white people in the text. The image portrayed is that whites are intelligent based on the
decisions that they were making. For instance, framing their own death, dressing like a girl just
to get information among others. Whereas, Blacks have been depicted us kind-hearted and
courageous individuals. This shows how generally white society thinks of the Black within their
community. The courage that has been displayed by Jim represents lack of education, ignorance
and superstitious community. The texts draw an image of a black man who is so ignorant that he
does not even value his freedom in the name of courage and friendship.
Racism was the center of the text, to explain it better. The two characters who were on the run
were running away to achieve a common objective which was freedom. Huck was running away
from civilization because Miss Watson wanted to civilize Huck, whereas she wanted to sell Jim
to a more brutal owner (Alberti). The contrast is that she wanted to make a white person gain
more knowledge and become a better person, whereas she wanted to make the life of the black
man miserable by selling her to owners who were ruthless. The picture of how whites meant well
for their fellow white men and women but wanted doom for the blacks. In as much as the two
were running away, the circumstances that made them run away were different.
After critically analyzing the text, it seems that the core objective of the text was to make sure
that the white audience was pleased while reading it. In as much as there were changes and
friendship among the whites and blacks begun to blossom, it was important to remind the whites
that they were better than the blacks and they enjoyed various privileges that come with their
race (William). It actually objectifies black men in that they can be disposed of by will just like
property. In the text, Jim was able to secure his freedom after he was declared free by Miss.
Watson through her will. This is not only demeaning but inhumane to a race, where they are
presented as objects that can be disposed of like other things their freedom was solely dependent
on their masters. The black person in the text has just been used to praise the ego of white men
who feel that they are more of human beings compared to Blacks.