The book the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain demonstrates the racial tensions between whites and blacks in the south by using characterization and language throughout the book. Many parts of the book can be seen as controversial in today’s age. The dialogue in the book that is used would be seen as very vulgar in today’s age and would not be accepted. But during the late 1800’s racism was very prevalent in the Deep South and it would not start to change for a long time.
Throughout the whole book the N word is used frequently. Huck Finn potrays a image where black people were not seen as a normal person. Which made them get treated unfairly and poorly. Mark Twain shows how white people viewed blacks.Now I struck an idea, and fetched it out: “It warn’t the grounding- -that didn’t keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder- head.””Good gracious! anybody hurt?”” N’om. Killed a N.
“”Well it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.” (Twain 241)This is showing how little people care about black people. Because he was asked if any got hurt and he said no it was just a black person. Like it wasn’t even a person at all.
Saying that sometimes people actually can get hurt. Which is referencing the whites. Whites felt as if blacks were always inferior. Always looking down upon them not giving them a chance at most of the things they wanted to do. Often in most cases they would just be viewed as property. Just lie actually property they would care about the money they could make off the property or how they could use this property to benefit for their own good. “here was a free nigger there from Ohio—a mulatter, most as white as a white man. He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain’t a man in that town that’s got as fine clothes as what he had; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane—the awful- est old gray-headed nabob in the State.
And what do you think? They said he was a professor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain’t the wust. They said he could VOTE when he was at home. Well, that let me out.
Thinks I, what is the country a-coming to? It was ‘lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn’t too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they’d let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I’ll never vote again.” (Twain 28) This was the way of the south on the outake of black people. Which perfectly potrays it.
This quote is really showing how the person feels about a black persons voting. Because he feels if one votes that he doesn’t feel as powerful as the people who in his eyes should not vote. Mark Twain in Huck Finn also uses characterization to get the message across by using certain characters as the aggressor. Like Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. Who in some eyes can be seen as someone who is religious but at the same time doesn’t believe in it all.
Is a burden who criticizes throughout the book. For example: “Miss Watson she took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing come of it. She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it.
But it warn’t so. I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooks. It warn’t any good to me without hooks. I tried for the hooks three or four times, but somehow I couldn’t make it work. By and by, one day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she said I was a fool. She never told me why, and I couldn’t make it out no way.
” ( Twain 13) This is how he believes is how you pray and thinks differently on what can happen next. Those key elements were big in the telling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because it showed you how it related to the tensions in the south. Used parts of figurative language like imagery, and symbolism. Like when Jim was going down the river it was almost like it was a gateway to freedom. Because a river is free flowing down its path.
Just like he is free flowing down his own path trying to figure out a way. In today’s time this kind of book can be seen as controversial because of the dialect used towards the Africans.