Doesn’t Matter the Color
To the parents of the Honors English 10 class,
As you many know, our Honors English 10 class will be reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by, who is known to many as the greatest American writers of our time, Mark Twain. There are quite a number of people who disagree about reading this book or not. This book is banned in many schools and many parents refuse to have their children read it. The reason for this is because some of the major themes are racism and slavery. The “n-word” is used, to be precise, 219 times. I know that you may be asking yourself at this point, why are my children going to read this book? Especially when it’s racist? But, that’s the thing, in many people’s eyes including the author, Mark Twain; it is not in any way shape or form racist, even if it uses such a discriminant word.
I want to make clear why I think this is not a racist book and it should be read by every American. At the beginning of thisnovel, Huckleberry Finn, a 13 year old boy who lives with his drunken, abusivefather, he’s then moved to live with a widow. After his father kidnaps him back, Huck fakes his own death and escapes to an island, which is where he finds Jim, an escaped slave. The people in this story refer to Jim and of course, the rest of the slaves, as niggers. Which, in our day and age is absolutely wrong, totally inappropriate and above all, racist. At first, Huckplays a couple tricks on Jim and he thinks they are funny. He sees him how everybody sees him: just a slave. But then he sees Jim in a different way. “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that one if I’d knowed it would make him feel that way.” Huck and Jim become extremely close and very good friends. They decide they are going to make a raft, sail down the Mississippi River until they reach a state where slavery is illegal. There Jim will finally be free, save up his money and buy his family back that is also enslaved. This is the first of many times we see Huck and Jim’s friendship. “Jim this is nice,” I says. “I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else but here.” (p.9.7) In a way Jim and Huck fill the spots in each other’s lives that they need. Huck becomes a friend to Jim since
he hasn’t had in a while and Jim fills in the spot of being a father figure to Huck since his father isn’t one to him. They make their own family and take care of each other. This whole story shows that color doesn’t matter and a friend is a friend. “Pooty soon I’ll be shoutin’ for joy, en I’ll say, it’s all on accounts o’ Huck; I’s a free ma, en I couldn’t ever ben free ef it hadn’ ben for Huck; Huck done it. Jim won’t ever forgit you, Huck; you’s de bes’ fren’ Jim’s ever had; en you’s de ONLY fren’ ole Jim’s got now.” (p.16.14)
When Twain wrote this book he wasn’t being racist. In my opinion, he used these words and this content because he was trying to show the way people acted, the way people talked, and the way people thought. He was trying to explain how silly it was and that it didn’t make sense to be so discriminant to others. He was showing us the real meaning of friendship and that it doesn’t matter what color you are, what size you are, or what you look like; we are all human and we all need love.