Mark Twain and African Americans

Topic: EntertainmentGames
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Last updated: April 27, 2019

Although Twain’s work may seem negative, the negative points in his work are very influential and I believe all schools should include it in their syllabi. The negative points help put emphasis on the ideas Twain is trying to get across. Making the African American characters use a different dialect throughout the book is negative because it gives the reader the idea that all black people speak of that dialect.

Other ideas that seem negative, such as using the “N-word” to refer to African- americans, throughout the book are actually positive, by showing the readers the terrible events during Twain’s time. Even though their dialect is different from the other characters, black characters in the books are shown to have intelligence. There are false aspects where Roxy seems very simple-minded, when she is distracted by the “sight of her new Sunday gown” while planning such a serious matter as to drown herself and her baby (Twain 3). Although the stereotype during this time,was that black people were not capable of thinking or that they were all dumb, it is contradicted throughout Twain’s works. When a joke goes over the country residences heads they began to call Mr. wilson, Pudd’nhead Wilson.

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Everyone in town believes Mr. WIlson is a fool, but Roxy claims she knows “he’s de smartes’ man in town” and he is the “one man dat [she’s] afeard of” (Twain 3).Roxy’s intelligence is shown throughout Pudd’nhead Wilson. Twain uses her to show that, although African-American are thought of as dumb actually have intelligence. In Huckleberry Finn, Huck believes he can play a trick on Jim telling him that Huck going missing was all in a dream, but Jim is actually not as simpleminded as he is thought to be.

Jim considers Huck’s “trick [as] trash” and so are people that ”put dirt on [their] friends’ head and makes them ashamed”(Twain 115). Twain shows that even though Jim understands values such as friendsh…

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