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Mark Twain is Certainly not Racist

 Essay about Mark Twain is Not Racist

HannahВ Krivelevich, В ShaneВ Nestor, В NikkiВ NostroВ

Mrs. В CangemiВ

EnglishВ 11HВ

2В JuneВ 2014В

MarkВ TwainВ isВ notВ RacistВ

RacismВ isВ definedВ asВ " theВ falseВ beliefВ thatВ peopleВ areВ dividedВ intoВ aВ hierarchyВ ofВ races, В withВ certainВ groupsВ inherentlyВ superiorВ toВ othersВ byВ virtueВ ofВ geneticВ inheritance. ” MarkВ Twain'sВ novelВ TheВ AdventuresВ ofВ HuckleberryВ Finn, В whichВ isВ setВ inВ theВ southernВ UnitedВ StatesВ directlyВ priorВ toВ theВ CivilВ War, В hasВ frequentlyВ beenВ criticizedВ forВ highlyВ racistВ content. В InВ someВ extremeВ casesВ theВ novelВ hasВ evenВ beenВ bannedВ byВ publicВ schoolВ systemsВ andВ censoredВ byВ publicВ libraries. В TheВ basisВ forВ theseВ censorshipВ campaignsВ hasВ beenВ theВ depictionВ ofВ oneВ ofВ theВ mainВ charactersВ inВ theВ novelВ Jim, В aВ blackВ slave. В Jim, В isВ aВ " typical" В blackВ slaveВ whoВ runsВ awayВ fromВ hisВ " owner" В MissВ Watson. В However, В contraryВ toВ popularВ belief, В MarkВ TwainВ isВ notВ prejudice, В andВ thereВ isВ anВ abundanceВ ofВ evidenceВ toВ substantiateВ this. В AsВ aВ whole, В thisВ bookВ isВ aboutВ freedomВ andВ theВ questВ forВ freedom. В It'sВ aboutВ aВ slaveВ whoВ breaksВ theВ lawВ andВ risksВ hisВ lifeВ toВ winВ hisВ freedomВ andВ beВ reunitedВ withВ hisВ family, В andВ aВ whiteВ boyВ whoВ becomesВ hisВ friendВ andВ helpsВ himВ escape. В OnВ aВ cursoryВ level, В theВ novelВ certainlyВ appearsВ toВ beВ racist, В butВ ifВ theВ readerВ wereВ toВ delveВ deeperВ intoВ theВ literaryВ classicВ theyВ wouldВ discoverВ thatВ itВ isВ soВ muchВ more. В В ThroughoutВ hisВ lifeВ TwainВ В madeВ manyВ commentsВ whichВ dispelВ theoriesВ thatВ heВ isВ racist. В UnlikeВ otherВ peopleВ ofВ theВ time, В whenВ comparingВ whitesВ andВ personsВ ofВ color, В heВ doesВ notВ goВ outВ ofВ hisВ wayВ toВ flatterВ theВ whiteВ people. В ForВ example, В TwainВ onceВ commentedВ " OneВ ofВ myВ theoriesВ isВ thatВ theВ heartsВ ofВ menВ areВ aboutВ alike, В allВ overВ theВ world, В whateverВ theirВ skinВ­complexionsВ mayВ

be” (SalwenВ 1). В InВ otherВ words, В TwainВ didВ notВ believeВ thatВ blacksВ andВ otherВ coloredВ peopleВ wereВ inferiorВ toВ whites. В Rather, В heВ feltВ thatВ everyone, В everywhere, В wasВ theВ sameВ internally, В regardlessВ ofВ skinВ tone. В Furthermore, В heВ alsoВ onceВ claimedВ " NearlyВ allВ blackВ andВ brownВ skinsВ areВ beautiful, В butВ aВ beautifulВ whiteВ skinВ isВ rare” (SalwenВ 1). В TwainВ thoughtВ thatВ personalityВ wise, В theВ overallВ underratedВ peopleВ ofВ colorВ wereВ actuallyВ betterВ thanВ theВ highlyВ respectedВ whites. В InВ fact, В thisВ statementВ probablyВ stemmedВ fromВ Twain'sВ knowledgeВ ofВ theВ poorВ treatmentВ ofВ blackВ slavesВ byВ theirВ whiteВ owners. В DespiteВ theВ harshВ supervisionВ theyВ wereВ under, В AfricanВ Americans, В likeВ Jim, В stillВ managedВ toВ tryВ andВ makeВ theВ bestВ outВ ofВ theirВ situation. В Lastly, В TwainВ hasВ beenВ quotedВ asВ sayingВ " ThereВ areВ manyВ humorousВ thingsВ inВ theВ worldНѕВ amongВ themВ isВ theВ whiteВ man'sВ notionВ thatВ heВ isВ lessВ savageВ thanВ allВ theВ otherВ savages” (SalwenВ 2). В ThisВ mayВ meanВ thatВ TwainВ findsВ itВ laughableВ thatВ whiteВ peopleВ tryВ toВ rationalizeВ theirВ crueltyВ byВ comparingВ toВ thatВ ofВ others, В whenВ reallyВ noВ crueltyВ isВ goodВ cruelty. В AlthoughВ onВ theВ surfaceВ TwainВ mayВ seemВ likeВ someoneВ whoВ isВ filledВ withВ bigotryВ andВ hatred, В inВ realityВ heВ wasВ actuallyВ anВ outspokenВ criticВ ofВ slaveryВ andВ racism. В В

InВ orderВ toВ mostВ conclusivelyВ determineВ thatВ MarkВ TwainВ isВ notВ aВ racist, В aВ readerВ mustВ alsoВ knowВ theВ opposingВ pointВ ofВ view. В InВ theВ 366В pageВ novel, В TwainВ usesВ theВ " n” wordВ approximatelyВ 219В times. В InВ today'sВ world, В thisВ isВ rightfullyВ consideredВ extremelyВ offensiveВ andВ politicallyВ incorrect. В However, В whenВ thisВ novelВ wasВ penned, В theВ wordВ wasВ culturallyВ appropriateВ andВ frequentlyВ used. В TwainВ wasВ notВ tryingВ discriminateВ againstВ nonВ­whitesНѕВ rather, В heВ wroteВ hisВ novelВ toВ beВ asВ trueВ toВ lifeВ asВ possible, В hurtfulВ wordsВ andВ all. В InВ oneВ scene, В forВ instance, В AuntВ SallyВ learnsВ ofВ aВ steamboatВ explosion. В " ‘GoodВ gracious! В anybodyВ hurt? 'В sheВ asks.  ‘No'm, 'В comesВ theВ answer.  ‘KilledВ aВ n*****. ' ‘Well, В it'sВ lucky, В becauseВ sometimesВ peopleВ doВ getВ hurt'” (TwainВ

221). В However, В TwainВ didВ notВ meanВ thisВ literally. В Here, В asВ inВ manyВ otherВ placesВ inВ theВ book, В TwainВ isВ usingВ thisВ colloquialВ dialogueВ ironicallyВ inВ orderВ toВ accentuateВ theВ harshВ realityВ aboutВ...

Cited: Salwen, В Peter. В " IsВ HuckВ FinnВ Racist? " В MTRACE. В Web. В 1В JuneВ 2014. В

.

Twain, В Mark. В AdventuresВ ofВ HuckleberryВ Finn. В NewВ York: В RandomВ House, В 1996. В Print.

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