Julia Maxwell
Mrs. Wilburn
English 11 Honors
27 February 2017
Twain's Roast Session
In Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain uses stereotypes to show his audience that society was unfairly separating themselves. The social norms of the book's time period were slowly starting to change when this book was written. Many people thought the change was wrong, but Twain wrote of characters that broke the normal expectations in the 1880s. The largest stereotype commented on in the book is through the character Jim. Even though Twain gives him stereotypical characteristics, he also breaks the barriers by making Jim brave, caring, smart, and overall equal to whites. Huckleberry practically treats Jim as an equal when he apologizes to him (Twain 86). The reader sees Huck's thought process that Jim is human too, and deserves to be treated with the same respect as everyone else. Through Huck's confused conscience, Twain brings up concepts about how it's not so crazy for a husband and father to want to be with his family (Twain 87). Twain shows how skin color is not a valid reason to be separated in society. Through other characters like Pap, the Grangerfords, and the duke and king, Twain defies the white stereotype of being educated and civil. Pap is abusive towards Huckleberry, the Grangerfords teach their kids murder is okay, and the duke and king are conmen (Twain 29, 96, 195). Twain uses these scenarios to show that the white race is hypocritical for superiorly separating themselves from other races, because one's race obviously does not determine whether or not they are a good, moral person. In addition, Twain portrays women as intelligent and as problem-solvers. Even though he goes along with usual womanly stereotypes, he uses Mrs. Loftus to show that women are smart and respectable (Twain 57). Although Twain played along with some of the stereotypes of the late 1800s, the breakthroughs he makes in those stereotypes show how society unethically divided themselves.




Works Cited
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Bantam Dell, 2003. Print.