Many books have been written over the years addressing racism, and slavery such as "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" by Frederick Douglass, and more modern texts like "To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee. Both have a clear stance on racism, and both authors clearly show they don't care for it at all. But it isn't always so clear, Mark Twain’s book “Huckleberry Finn” is often a topic of conversation, and is regarded as both educational, and controversial. But what kind of book this is, can be hard to determine. This book is seen as an anti racist book, fighting for freedom, while at the same time Mark is known to have fought for the south in the civil war, and often would go to minstrel shows, and said how much he enjoyed it. But do these factors, and writing Jim like the "buffoons" in these shows, make the text in its self racist?
This text shouldn't be racist in any sense, rather it is trying to be accurate with the use of negative slang towards Jim, and is Twain writing to white audience likely slave owners, so using similar concepts, and moral struggle helps them understand the text too. Many people of the time also understand Minstrel shows so by using some humor, and jokes from it tricks the reader in reading the text expecting more jokes along the same lines. Jim starts out seeming not to be smart in the text, and some things go over his head, as he is easily tricked by Huck, and conman Duke, and King. As Jim teams up with Huck they both grow and learn a lot from each other. Also, at the start he is called the N word, and clear barriers are put up between them, the reader sees Huck, and Jim become closer, as Huck even stops calling Jim the N word. Keeping this in mind, Twain links the two together, and almost makes the reader forget Jim was a slave, as he transforms into a man again. This was not a mistake Twain planned this out as a white reader may even start to feel bad for Jim to we grow to like him. Twain uses popular stereo types to help the reader understand Jim, and have some laughs at first, but as it goes on he breaks the prejudice towards black people in this time showing the voice of Jim written in the text. This is done this way so a white person at this time wouldn't challenge the book and dismiss it right of the back, rather the ideas of equality slowly seep in unexpected, and people start to pity Jim. Therefore, based on these ideas this book is not meant to be racist, rather just use that racism as mask to hide the true values he stands for, and have more people give the book a chance.