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Word Count: 920
In recent years there has been increasing discussion of the seemingly racist ideas expressed by Mark Twain in The 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 one of the main characters in Huckleberry Finn Jim a black slave Jim is a typical black slave who runs away from his owner Miss Watson At several points in the novel Jims character is described to the reader whom some characterize as racist However 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 but to read between the lines in order to capture the underlying theme If one were to do this in relation to Huckleberry Finn one would without doubt realize that it is not racist and is even anti-slavery Through the protagonists Huck and Jim society and Hucks struggle against society Mark Twain reveals a challenge to slavery On a superficial level Huckleberry Finn might appear to be racist The first time the reader meets Jim Huck gives 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 he has been raised by extremely racist individuals who have even if only subconsciously put 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
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