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In recent years there has been increasing discussion of the seemingly racist ideas expressed by Mark Twain in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn In some extreme cases the novel has even been banned by public school systems and censored by public libraries The basis for these censorship campaigns has been the depiction of Jim a black slave Before one begins to censor a novel it is important to separate the ideas of the author from the ideas of his characters It is also important not to take a novel at face value and to read between the lines in order to capture the underlying themes If one were to truly look for the underlying themes in Twains writing he would realize that Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not racist and is even anti-slavery On a superficial level Huckleberry Finn might appear to be racist The first time the reader meets Jim he is given a very negative description of him The reader is told that Jim is illiterate childlike not very bright and extremely superstitious However it is important not to lose sight of who is giving this description and of whom it is being given Although Huck is not a racist child extremely racist individuals who have raised him even if only subconsciously ingrained some feelings of bigotry into his mind It is also important to remember that this description although it is quite saddening was probably accurate Jim and the millions of other slaves in the South were not permitted any formal education were never allowed any independent thought and were constantly mistreated and abused Twain is merely portraying by way of Jim a very realistic slave raised in the South during that time period To say that Twain is racist because of his desire for historical accuracy is absurd Despite the few incidents in which Jims description might be misconstrued as racist there are many points in the novel where Twain
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