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There is a major argument among literary critics whether Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is or is not a racist novel The question boils down to the depiction of Jim the black slave and to the way he is treated by Huck and other characters The use of the word nigger is also a point raised by some critics who feel that Twain uses the word too much and too loosely Mark Twain never presents Jim in a negative light He does not show Jim as a drunkard as a mean person or as a cheat This is in contrast to the way Hucks white father is depicted whom Twain describes using all of the above characterizations and more We see Jim as a good friend a man devoted to his family and loyal to his He is however very naive and superstitious Some critics say that Twain is implying that all blacks have these qualities When Jim turns to his magic hairball for answers about the future we see that he does believe in some foolish things But all the same he is visited by both blacks and whites to use the hairballs powers This type of naivete was abundant at the time and found among all races-the result of a lack of proper education So the depiction of Jim is not negative in the sense that Jim is stupid and inferior and in this aspect of the story clearly there is no racism intended It is next necessary to analyze the way white characters treat Jim throughout the book Note that what the author felt is not the way most characters act around Jim and his feelings are probably only shown through Huck In the South during that period black people were treated as less than humans and Twain needed to portray this The examples of the way Jim is denigrated by being locked up having to hide
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