The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not a racist novel, nor is Mark Twain a racist author. The novel was a satire on slavery and racism, that, as well as raising social awareness, was also one of the best American novels of all time. Since it was first published, Huck Finn has caused much controversy for mixed reasons, which recently included the use of racial slurs and accusations that the author himself was racist.
Most of this controversy stems from Twain’s frequent use of the word “nigger” when referring to black slaves, including one of the main characters, Jim. Today, that term is considered a seriously offensive racial slur. However, in the setting of the novel, and during that time period, this is the term most frequently used to describe African Americans. Since Huck Finn was set in the south before the civil war among slave owning whites, it would have been completely inaccurate to use terms which are now considered politically correct. The use of the term “nigger” was also used for effect. One of the devices Twain applied to call attention to the immorality of slavery was the use of an innocent child to narrate the novel. Especially today, hearing such words come from a child is distressing
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With use of devices such as satire, symbolism and point of view, it sent a message to many Americans and the rest of the world that slavery should not be continued in the United States. enough to drive home the point that racism and slavery should have never occurred and should continue to be prevented. It was clear that a decision had to be made about how it was to handle public outcry against slavery, and slaveholders defense of it. Many of the white people were also not sophisticated and intelligent themselves, which was a result of both the setting, and the fact that the novel was an exaggeration of people or groups of people in the south at that time. These sentiments were expressed in numerous essays and articles that he wrote, and he did believe...