Racism Exposed in Tom Sawyer

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is a book that provides insight into what life was like during that era. Some argue that the book either supports or condemns racism. However, the author exposes racism at various points in the book. The racism is evident in Huck Finn’s statement about his relationship with a black person and Tom’s negotiation with Jim. Twain uses Huck Finn to reveal the attitude towards black people during that time. Tom’s negotiation with Jim highlights the idea that black people were easier to persuade or were more gullible. Finally, the difference in treatment between Jim and the other boys expose the racism in their society. Therefore, the book exposes racism rather than supporting or condemning it. Through the perspective of a young boy, Twain provides a unique look into life during that time.

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, gives you a look into what things were like back in that era. Some may say that racism is supported or condemned, in the book. What do you say? I say that it is neither supported or condemned. I think that racism is exposed in Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Racism is exposed in several parts of the book. In chapter 28 Huck Finn says “That’s a mighty good nigger, Tom. He likes me becuz I don’t ever act as if I was above him. Sometimes I’ve set right down and eat with him. But you needn’t tell that.” (Twain, 1998 pg.162) In that era it was rare and ‘frowned upon’ to be kind to a black person, especially if you ate and shared with them. Therefore, Twain uses Huck Finn as a way to show or expose what racism was like in that time, for kids of that age. Another place in the book where racism is exposed is in chapter 2, where we are introduced to Jim, the family’s’ servant’. Tom tries to easily persuade Jim to white wash for him “And besides if you will I’ll show you my sore toe.” (Twain, 1998 pg.12) Racism is exposed here because Tom negotiates with Jim easily and with not much to offer compared to the other boys he persuades, with candy and toys.

Those boys, are white. Twain used this as a way to show that maybe Tom, along with others, thinks that blacks are easier to persuade or are more gullible than others. Finally, in chapter 2, Tom and Jim are talking about Aunt Polly “She! She never licks anybody-whacks ’em over the head with her thimble-and who cares for that, I’d like to know?” (Twain, 1998 pg.12) but later, in that paragraph, it says that Jim gets beat for not listening. Racism is exposed here because Tom Says that Aunt Polly only gives whacks on the head but obviously Jim gets treated a bit differently. People might say that racism is supported and some might say it’s condemned in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. What do you say? Twain’s book gives you a look into what life was like during that time, and through the perspective of a young boy. I think in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Twain is exposing racism.

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