Discrimination of African American by the White Anglo Saxon

In English I have been reading the book The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. In this book I have noticed that there is a lot of discrimination of African American by the White Anglo Saxon.

During the beginning of the book Twain uses the term "nigger" a lot which he does through the language of Huckleberry, the novel's protagonist. For example in the beginning of the novel Huck tells a story about a ring to the African American people in town. He tells them it is witchery to make fun of them and their ability to believe whatever he says. "Niggers would come miles to hear Jim tell about it" Huck does this because he thinks the black people are dumb and will do or believe anything a white man says.

Jim, the black man, is a slave who is treated so badly by White society that he runs away from his family. He makes a comment to Huck "Miss Watson was going to sell me down South".

Huck, has been drifting down the Mississippi and he has come across an escaped slave Jim. As they are drifting down the Mississippi River they come into many conflicts with greater society. While Huck and Jim are on the flee for freedom, Huck is faced with the decision to protect and help his new friend or turn in Jim as society demands. I personally think this decision for Huck is a difficult one as he needs to choose what is best for his friendship or what society wants. However now day I would like to think that this decision wouldn’t have to be made, as discrimination has become less of a problem then it was in the 1800's, however that’s not to say that African American's don’t get discriminated against.

Discrimination against African American's during the 1800's was very strong throughout America. As they Huck and Jim are drifting down the river, Huck starts to question the rules society has taught him, these rules would be the difference between turning in an escaped slave/friend, or doing what's right for his friendship and perhaps new morals.

Through this theme I think that Twain is trying to show that during this time of his context African American and White Anglo Saxon are told by society how to treat one another. However Huck and Jim test these rules society has created by becoming friends. This also shows that people were not given the same rights and responsibilities as others around them.

Thanks for reading, see you next time :)

Comment Stream

2 years ago

This blog post was very good and it gave me an understanding of your cultural assumption of discrimination. It is clearly outlined that this is the cultural assumption that you are talking about. Discrimination is also described very well. Your examples do help me to understand the cultural assumption and I can see that discrimination is present in novel. You explained that the element of language is used in the novel to show discrimination, however you could describe your other elements more in your assessment task, for example character and/or plot.

You have also linked the cultural assumption to context by explaining how African Americans were treated in the 1800s. You have explained that author of the novel, Mark Twain, was demonstrating how people treated each other and why they treated them a certain way. However, something that you might need to include in your assessment would be whether the author challenges, agrees with or rejects discrimination at the time the novel was written.

There was some similarities between our novels. One of the similarities was the pressure society placed on people to do what was expected of them.

I really liked this blog post :)

2 years ago

Thank you :)