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I need help on how Huck represents racism.

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parousia | Student, Grade 11 | Honors

Posted January 29, 2012 at 4:00 AM via web

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I need help on how Huck represents racism.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 29, 2012 at 9:13 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that it is going to be a challenge to argue that Huck fully embodies or represents racism.  I certainly think that Huck represents some elements of his society that is racist.  This is not a reflection on Huck being racist as much as being reflective of a racist society.  Huck believes people of color to being property and not being a full human being.  The ability to perceive an individual on the basis of color or ethnicity as being the sole construction of identity is a part of the racist element in Huck's society.  To an extent, Huck's embrace or absorption of this could be seen as racist.  The challenge you will find is that Huck does turn his back on slavery and does take an active role in rejecting slavery and rejecting racism.  I think that this is where the largest challenge in Huck representing racism will be evident.  If one argues that Huck is racist, it would only take place in a small section of his overall trajectory.  In this light, one would have to argue that while there are moments where Huck could be seen as racist, the overall arc of his characterization is one where he rejects society's racism in his stand against it and in freeing Jim.

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