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Word Count: 663
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is an excellent example of racism in literature because it uses language describing African Americans which goes beyond satire It treats them as objects and perpetuates stereotypes It does not expose and deal with racism as many advocates of its reading claim but encourages an attitude of superiority that is unnecessary and intolerable In order to rid ourselves from this racism African American literature should be read more often in classrooms throughout the United States Anything less will simply perpetuate racism The American Heritage Dictionary defines racism as the belief that some races are inherently better than others Mark Twain holds this belief and his writing illustrates it The use of the word nigger does not merely serve as a point of satire He is not simply ridiculing the times by using it but saying this is how it is He conveys the idea that whites are superior to blacks in different ways While he might criticize white peoples actions he never lumps them together attributing similar characteristics to all of them by the use of a term like nigger By doing this he is also offending about 15 of the United States population Every character in the book is racist even Huckleberry himself With such lines as Here was this nigger which I had as good as helped run away coming right out flatfooted and saying he would steal his children-children that belonged to a man I didnt even know a man that hadnt ever done me no harmTwain P133 he illustrates this Additionally the character of Jim is not a well-developed character like Huckleberry or even Aunt Sally but is flat and is never the instigator of actions Instead he is acted upon and is often the center of attention treated as a problem throughout the book When he breaks this pattern and takes action his image
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