The Realism of Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Although January 1st, 1863, is the date most Americans identify as the day the Emancipation Proclamation officially took “effect”, crucial racism was present everywhere especially in the Southern states. Now, can anyone imagine how the former slaves were treated before this document was enacted? Indeed slaves worked hard for no pay and were treated unfairly, like objects, rather than human beings. Southern states were dependent on slave labor and so the southern folks supported slavery and became a part of its extension of slavery into other new states.
Most white Americans, no matter where they lived and what their attitudes towards slavery were, agreed that black people were intellectually and morally inferior to white people. Racist beliefs, attitudes, and behavior that would be considered reprehensible today were common back then. With its realistic portrayal of the contemporary life and society in the southern states, Mark Twain‘s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, created racial controversy from the moment it was published. While Twain’s objective in writing was to capture the essence of a region and its people, many individuals took his realistic portrayal and dialect offensive and racist.
The following pages examine how the accurate portrayal of the 1830-1840’s by Mark Twain caused racial controversy throughout the world. First they will explain and analyze the historical background of the novel and then they will present Twain’s hidden opinions within the words and paragraphs. Finally they will show how Twain’s embodiment of society during the pre-civil war created a full out controversy all over the world. This then made it skeptical for teachers to teach the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in a classroom setting.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic novel, “a book that has always had plenty of readers: it...