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Racism in Mark Twain

Mark Twain has always been one of the most controversial authors of all time. Though in recent years, there has been increasing controversy over the ideas expressed in his novel, 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 this censorship is the argument that Mark Twain’s book is racist, but in reality Twain was against racism and used this book to make people aware of what was going on in the south. He did this by using the regional dialect of the south, showing the attitude of the other characters in the novel toward black people, and showing his depiction of black characters. If one were to “read between the lines” in order to understand the underlying themes of the novel, one would realize that Mark Twain was not a racist and was even anti-slavery.Mark Twain was the first American author to use explicit common folk dialect in his writings. Many people think dialect such as that found in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is made up. In truth, Mark Twain’s dialect is not haphazard. It is composed of painstakingly accurate Missouri Negro dialect, an extremist form of the backwoods southwestern dialect and ordinary Pike County dialect (Knowledge Adventure 1). An example of Huck’s dialect is “The widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and descent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out” (Twain 1). An example of Aunt Polly’s mainstream, yet common dialect is “Tom, you didn’t have to undo your shirt collar where I sewed it, to pump on your head, did you? Unbutton your jacket!” (Twain 6). An example of Jim’s dialect is “Yo’ ole father doan’ know yit what he’s...

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