Books and Movies Reviews

Understanding Huckleberry Finn With Historical Approach

For years, Mark Twain's classic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, has been misinterpreted by many people and ultimately, banned in some schools because of its content, which seems very racist to some.However, by using the historical approach, that is, analyzing the time period in which the novel took place and considering it while reading, one can understand Huck Finn better because they have some background knowledge on the book and they can see the book for what it actually is instead of something offensive.
Slavery is one of the many hot topics present in Huck Finn, as its portrayal has the most impact on the reader.One must realize, however, that during nineteenth-century America, slaves were often mistreated and looked down upon by the white society.When Huck lies to Aunt Sally telling her the steamboat was knocked out by a cylinder-head, she asks, "good gracious, anybody hurt?"His reply was, "no'm, killed a nigger." (Page 221)She simply dismisses the death of the African-American and says everyone was lucky.It would be out of historical context for Twain to have his white characters treat his African-American ones as equals because they weren't viewed that way.Instead, Twain wrote the raw, horrible but true, examples of how the white culture treated its black counterparts.Twain also provided insight into the beliefs that the South held, such as slavery being holy, because it was the way of life for most southerners.During this time period, the South was struggling to keep up with the industrial and wealthy North.Because of slavery, the South prospered.Slavery kept the people living stable lives, and they felt as if God gave it to them.After writing a letter to Miss Watson confessing that he stole Jim (a letter that he later tore up) Huck"felt good and all washed clean of sin…" as he admits on page 213.It may be hard without this realization to s…

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