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Mark Twain Racist Or Realist Mark Twain Racist or Realist Introduction This paper examines Mark Twains work to determine whether or not he was racist Racism is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as the belief that one race is superior to others Unfortunately the issue of race isnt black or white There are many shades of gray in racism and even the most progressive thoughts of old seems conservative as progress enlightens new levels of thought During his time Twain was a forward thinking author who championed many causes one of them being fair treatment of the downtrodden and oppressed The only example of potential racism is his treatment of the Goshoot Indians in Roughing It The main body of his work points to innovative anti-racist themes Even if one admits that Twain fosters some derogatory stereotypes labeling his work scabrous unassimiable and perhaps unteachable to our own time is shortsighted and revisionist Even if Twain was racist the process of learning is supposed to combat backwards teaching from our past through exposition and discussion Wonham 40 I even learned from Mein Kampf and objections to Mark Twains potential racism pale in comparison to Hitlers crimes against humanity Mark Twain certainly wasnt as politically correct as contemporary newsmen or politicians but his primary occupation was as a satirist Even today successful comedians from Saturday Night Live to The Tonight Show use techniques similar to Twains irony satire and burlesque Every serious Twain scholar knows of Twains reputation as a burlesque humoristsatirist as well as his anti-imperialist and anti-religious tendencies The scholar must be careful when labeling or categorizing Twains work because of his frequent use of sarcasm but Twain definitely liked blacks and abhorred slavery His treatment of Natives and the Chinese was questionable when looked at apart from his work as a whole but he slammed the white race more mercilessly than he ever condemned any other race Sadly the cynical and
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