Huckleberry finn quotes about slavery

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huckleberry finn quotes about slavery

Huck Finn Quotes (38 quotes)

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Published 12.12.2018

Huckleberry Finn Project: Racism and Slavery

Huck Finn Quotes

I begun to think how dreadful it was, even for murderers, to be in such a fix. In Chapter 13, after Huck and Jim steal a raft full of supplies and leave a band of villainous men behind on a wrecked steamboat, Huck begins to worry about their well-being. Regardless of their villainy, these are human beings, and as such they have the same fear response as everyone else. I was feeling ruther comfortable on accounts of taking all this trouble for that gang, for not many would a done it. I wished the widow knowed about it. I judged she would be proud of me for helping these rapscallions, because rapscallions and dead beats is the kind the widow and good people takes the most interest in. Huck seems to understand empathy solely in terms of Christian duty, rather than morality.

As Huck, Jim, and the other characters go downriver, these questions become inescapable. These seven words from chapter 31 are amongst the most memorable in American literature. At this point in the novel, Huck Finn has just realized the Duke and Dauphin have betrayed the runaway slave Jim and sold him into captivity. Jim will be transported back to Miss Watson if Huck Finn stands idly by. Once he has the letter in his hands, however, Huck decides to tear it up and save Jim. Strangely, Twain undercuts this powerful scene with a disturbing exchange between Huck Finn and Aunt Sally in the next chapter.

Though Mark Twain wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after the abolition of slavery in the United States, the novel itself is set before the Civil War, when slavery was still legal and the economic foundation of the American South. While slaveholders profit from slavery, the slaves themselves are oppressed, exploited, and physically and mentally abused. Jim is inhumanely ripped away from his wife and children. However, white slaveholders rationalize the oppression, exploitation, and abuse of black slaves by ridiculously assuring themselves of a racist stereotype, that black people are mentally inferior to white people, more animal than human. In this way, slaveholders and racist whites harm blacks, but they also do moral harm to themselves, by viciously misunderstanding what it is to be human, and all for the sake of profit.

by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Symbols - Mark Twain - Mark Twain

This novel served as a social commentary on the culture of the United States at the time, when slavery was a hot-button issue addressed in Twain's writing. The character Jim is Miss Watson's slave and a deeply superstitious man who escapes from his captivity and society's constraints to raft down the river. This is where he meets Huckleberry Finn. In the epic journey down the Mississippi River that follows, Twain portrays Jim as a deeply caring and loyal friend who becomes a father figure to Huck, opening the boy's eyes to the human face of slavery. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said of Twain's work that, "Huckleberry Finn knew, as did Mark Twain, that Jim was not only a slave but a human being [and] a symbol of humanity The common thread that ties Jim and Huck together once they meet on the riverbank — other than a shared location — is that they are both fleeing from the constraints of society. Jim is fleeing from slavery and Huck from his oppressive family.


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