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Free Huckleberry Finn Essays: Race Relations

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Race Relations

Humans are fascinated with real life situations, tagged in with fictional story line. Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, describes real life situations, in a fictional story line perfectly. Twain put the real life happenings of slavery, in a fun and fictional story. The novel is mainly about the racial relations between each human. Classes of society, loyalty/friendship, and rebellion shows how the novel evolves into a main theme of Race Relations.

Throughout the history of the world, people have been placed into categories based on their wealth, and all of the worldly possessions that we have. These classes of society can really make people talk, and act differently towards some people. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the novel shows these classes really well. In the beginning of the novel, we see a little bit of the black class, and how they were treated. “Miss. Watson’s big nigger, named Jim, was setting in the kitchen door, we could see him pretty clear” (14). Jim, Miss. Watson’s run away slave in the story, is part of the black class. We see the sub ordinance that blacks were placed in America, because blacks were not allowed to be in the house, because they were uneducated, and had to be working in the fields.

Another example of the classes we put each other into is when Huck, the main character, and Jim were heading south. Jim and Huck are sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River, and Jim says “I owns myself en I’s wuth eight hund’d dollars.” (54). This shows the reader that blacks are so low, that the white people place prices on the blacks. As uneducated as the blacks are, they believe they are worth so much money, because that is all they hear from their owners. By doing such a thing to another human being, that degrades our country, and the black citizens themselves.

At the end, we see how these classes can effect one person, due to his social status. Like before, people say things to other people, to make themselves feel better, and they do not care what it does to the person they are talking about, because of their class in society. One example of this is when “They cussed Jim considerably, though, and give him a cuff or two upside the head” (271).

The Style of Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown

“Young Goodman Brown” – the Style

Sculley Bradley, Richmond Croom Beatty and E. Hudson Long in “The Social Criticism of a Public Man” state: “Beyond his remarkable sense of the past, which gives a genuine ring to the historical reconstructions, beyond his precise and simple style, which is in the great tradition of familiar narrative, the principal appeal of his work is in the quality of its allegory” (49). The style found in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” contains the features quoted in the above passage, as well as many others – which will be discussed in this essay.

The “precise” style mentioned by Bradley above may be the “detailed” style stated by Clarice Swisher in “Nathaniel Hawthorne: a Biography”; she says: “In his journal – a kind of artist’s sketchbook – he recorded twenty-five thousand words describing people and places in detail” based on two brief visits (18). The author’s attention to detail may be the reason that every word seems to be meaningful in his sentences. Can you discard any words from the opening sentence without sacrificing some meaning: “Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife.”

The reader can notice right away that Hawthorne writes in a well-read and cultivated style, avoiding the use of profanity, vulgar language, or words offensive to the ear. Consider his precise word selection from an enormous vocabulary:

They continued to walk onward, while the elder traveller exhorted his companion to make good speed and persevere in the path, discoursing so aptly, that his arguments seemed rather to spring up in the bosom of his auditor, than to be suggested by himself. As they went, he plucked a branch of maple, to serve for a walking-stick, and began to strip it of the twigs and little boughs, which were wet with evening dew

Even the most emotional outburst in the entire story does not contain any language remotely displeasing or uncultivated: “’Ha! ha! ha!’ roared Goodman Brown, when the wind laughed at him. “Let us hear which will laugh loudest! Think not to frighten me with your deviltry! Come witch, come wizard, come Indian powow, come devil himself! and here comes Goodman Brown. You may as well fear him as he fear you!’”

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