Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn tackled social issue especially the black versus white society. Twain used the word ‘nigger’ as an emphasis of the society’s moral upbringing when the time he wrote the novel.
In the years since the 1960’s, there has been an disagreement where black audiences complaint with the use of the terminology “nigger” to describe them, while white readers reasoned out that those complainants were failing to notice the political circumstances of the post Civil War in the United States. The tale irony of Mark Twain, the evaluation on slavery in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the kindheartedness and consideration of Jim, and the reality that in some of the states, ‘nigger’ was just a widespread and frequently used term for a slave.
Nigger Jim was considered to be the most moral character in the selection. He was the character hated by the society because of racial discrimination. Contrary to what the society dictates to Huckleberry Finn, he believed that Nigger Jim was not the kind of person every white folk though of him to be. Huckleberry Finn supposed that Nigger Jim was a caring and loving person, without acquiring the prejudice of like that of a white American towards the blacks.
I went to sleep, and Jim didn’t call me when it was my turn. He often done that. When I woke up, just at daybreak, he was setting there with his head down betwixt his knees, moaning and mourning to himself. I didn’t take notice, nor let on. I knew what it was about. He was thinking about his wife and his children, away up yonder, and he was low and homesick; because he hadn’t ever been away freom home before in his life; and I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for theirn. I don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so… .He was a mighty good nigger, Jim was (Twain 117).
Mark Twain showed in the eyes of Huckleberry Finn that Jim was a moral person and never an inferior to the whites. Jim became a moral strength to Huckleberry Finn, giving him a personality with equal and impartial judgment.
On the other hand, the dear, gentle, kindly Aunt Sally was the least moral character in the selection aside from Pap Finn and his alcoholism. Aunt Sally never thought she was not especially intelligent did not altogether lack common sense, and was imbued with a morality that did not regard ‘niggers’ as people, but as property–which is presumably what the use of the abusive word ‘nigger’ now imports. When people with such an outlook came to regard ‘Negroes’ or black people as people, not as property, it would change the characterization of Aunt Sally as a moral being. This conversation between Aunt Sally and Huckleberry Finn illustrated how low she thought of the black folks.
“It warn’t the grounding–that didn’t keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder-head.”
“Good gracious! Anybody hurt?”
“No’m. Killed a nigger.”
“Well, it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt. Two years ago last Christmas your uncle Silas was coming up from Newrleans on the old Lally Rook, and she blowed out a cylinder-head and crippled a man. And I think he died afterwards (Twain 167).”
The concept of morality here was the attitude towards other people. The cooperation and righteous act towards a person with the same rights as you have is the basis of morality. It does not follow that a person must subscribe into something narrowly defined by the notion of virtue. Being virtuous was being moral. Practicing good virtues was equal to performing moral acts, respectively.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Courier Dover Publications, 1994