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The Societal Issues of Slavery in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a Novel by Mark Twain

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The Societal Issues of Slavery in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a Novel by Mark Twain essay

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book written by Mark Twain, An outstanding literature writer known until this day. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book best described as great literature. It is about a thirteen year old boy named Huck Finn who is the protagonist throughout the story. He has a harsh life with an abusive, alcoholic father but now lives in a more civilized home with two women, the Widow Douglas & Miss Watson. The book explores societal issues about racism, hypocrisy, and about what society wants Huck to do and what Huck thinks he should do. The novel is filled with examples of racism and hate toward different people. Jim is a character who is portrayed morally and ethically throughout this novel because of the way he gets treated by society, treating him like an object, like a toy someone plays with. He is a person but Huck is the only one who sees the humanity in Jim because of the color of his skin. Twain shows, through Jim’s characterization, that he should be treated as any white person. Twain portrays Jim by using characterization in the novel and writing about the abuses suffered by Jim from society.

There are many examples that Mark Twain wrote about Jim, showing the characterization of him in the novel. Twain emphasizes Jim’s loyalty and feelings towards others, showing he is a human being and not just a slave. As Twain reveals Jim’s characterization, The growing relationship with Huck and Jim leads Huck to question many of the things he has been taught and told about race and slavery growing up. These beliefs, morals, and what the society tells the audience is not morally or ethically right. An example to prove the point would be in chapter fifteen when Huck plays a trick on Jim lying to him and making look like a fool. Huck feels bad and wanted to say sorry but he did not know how to apologize because in Huck’s society, you do not apologize to a “nigger”. He says, “It was fifteen minutes before i could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but i done it, and i warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that one if id a knowed it would make him feel that way” ( pg # ). It took him awhile to but when he did he felt better about himself, proving that society and moral beliefs should not change your perspective on slaves or the humanity of people.

In the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain also includes the abuses suffered by Jim from society. The beliefs and the morality of people should not make a person change their point of view of a different colored person or race. Mark Twain wrote this novel to introduce the audience to slavery by having Jim develop through the novel and reveal his characterization giving the reader a feeling a feeling and making the audience question the morality of slavery and since this novel was written after the civil war, it was set before the war while slavery was still legal. Mark Twain shows that Jim is just another human being like the rest of the people by demonstrating Jim’s actions throughout the story. An example to show this was when Jim has had many opportunities to leave Huck but decides to stay by his side and escape together, proving his loyalty. When the fog had separated the both of them, Jim was left hurt and frightened because he thought he lost Huck forever, as he says in his own words, “ heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn’ k’yer no mo’ what bcome er me en de raf”.

Huck is the only person that sees Jim as for who he is, not a slave but a human being. Yes, at first he saw Jim as someone who everyone should not give any respect to nor sympathy but as the story goes on Huck portrays Jim as a father figure and a human with rights just like the rest. Jim loves Huck despite the jokes he played, he had forgiven him. Huck brings out the person in Jim and reveals his feelings that Jim is just like him, like the rest, someone who is free and someone with a heart. He ignores what people told him growing up and what society says about slaves even though there is a reward for Jim it does not matter to him. What is important here is Mark Twain’s brilliant literature and revealing work about each character that outlines the story and brings mortality into it showing people do change and that it is society that over rules people’s opinion and beliefs.

Throughout the novel Mark Twain wrote an outstanding piece of work to show the audience that the book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is anti-slavery and shows the societal issues as well as the social abuse to the slaves who just want to be free. As well as the showing of how a human being is worth a reward like when Jim was put up wanted and people thought he killed Huck but that people treated him like an object.

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The Societal Issues of Slavery in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a Novel by Mark Twain. (2018, October 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from
“The Societal Issues of Slavery in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a Novel by Mark Twain.” GradesFixer, 22 Oct. 2018,
The Societal Issues of Slavery in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a Novel by Mark Twain. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
The Societal Issues of Slavery in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a Novel by Mark Twain [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 22 [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from:
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