1022 WORDS


Of Huck Finn By Twain
The entire plot of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is rooted on intolerance
between different social groups. Without prejudice and intolerance The

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn would not have any of the antagonism or
intercourse that makes the recital interesting. The prejudice and intolerance
found in the book are the characteristics that make The Adventures of

Huckleberry Finn great. The author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is

Samuel Langhorn Clemens, who is more commonly known by his pen name, Mark Twain.

He was born in 1835 with the passing of Haley’s comet, and died in 1910 with
the passing of Haley’s comet. Clemens often used prejudice as a building block
for the plots of his stories. Clemens even said," The very ink in which
history is written is merely fluid prejudice." There are many other instances
in which Clemens uses prejudice as a foundation for the entertainment of his
writings such as this quote he said about foreigners in The Innocents Abroad:

"They spell it Vinci and pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better
than they pronounce." Even in the opening paragraph of The Adventures of

Huckleberry Finn Clemens states, "Persons attempting to find a motive in this
narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be
banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot." There were
many groups that Clemens contrasted in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The
interaction of these different social groups is what makes up the main plot of
the novel. For the objective of discussion they have been broken down into five
main sets of antithetic parties: people with high levels of melanin and people
with low levels of melanin, rednecks and scholarly, children and adults, men and
women, and finally, the Sheperdson’s and the Grangerford’s. Whites and

African Americans are the main two groups contrasted in the novel. Throughout
the novel Clemens portrays Caucasians as a more educated group that is higher in
society compared to the African Americans portrayed in the novel. The cardinal
way that Clemens portrays African Americans as obsequious is through the
colloquy that he assigns them. Their dialogue is composed of nothing but broken

English. One example in the novel is this excerpt from the conversation between

Jim the fugitive slave, and Huckleberry about why Jim ran away, where Jim
declares, "Well you see, it ‘uz dis way. Ole missus-dat’s Miss Watson-she
pecks on me all de time, en treats me pooty rough, but she awluz said she woudn’
sell me down to Orleans." Although this is the phonetic spelling of how some

African Americans from the boondocks used to talk, Clemens only applied the
argot to Blacks and not to Whites throughout the novel. There is not one
sentence in the treatise spoken by an African American that is not comprised of
broken English. The but in spite of that, the broken English does add an
entraining piece of culture to the milieu. The second way Clemens differentiates
people in the novel of different skin color is that all Blacks in the book are
portrayed as stupid and uneducated. The most blatant example is where the

African American character Jim is kept prisoner for weeks while he is a dupe in
a childish game that Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn play with him. Clemens spends the
last three chapters in the novel to tell the tale of how Tom Sawyer maliciously
lets Jim, who known only unto Tom is really a free man, be kept prisoner in a
shack while Tom torments Jim with musings about freedom and infests his living
space with rats, snakes, and spiders. At the end of this charade Tom even
admits, "Why, I wanted the adventure of it..." The next two groups Clemens
contrasts are the rednecks and the scholarly. In the novel Clemens uses
interaction between backwoods and more highly educated people as a vital part of
the plot. The main usage of this mixing of two social groups is seen in the
development of the two very entertaining characters simply called the duke and
the king. These two characters are rednecks who pretend to be of a more
scholarly background in order to cozen naive people along the banks of the

Mississippi. In one instance the king and the duke fail miserably in trying to
act more studiously when they perform a "Shakespearean Revival." The duke
totally slaughters the lines of Hamlet saying, "To be, or not to be; that is
the bare bodkin. That

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