In fact, white society continued o repudiate free African Americans, denying them many opportunities for advancement and self-gerrymandering, making it apparent that regardless of the status of African Americans, they were never truly equal to the whites. In the Jim Crow era, society was even able to successfully exaggerate the lives of African Americans, granting them equality to whites, but In a segregated fashion, consequentially exposing the inherent racism In society.
Even today, whether known explicitly or Implicitly from knowledge, racism Is stealthily Integrated Into even the supposedly “Impartial” Criminal Justice System, eventually revealing that extreme call prejudice towards African Americans resonates in white society. Mark Twain cleverly merges this aspect into the controversial ending of his satire, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has been dubbed abrupt and ultimately regressive in nature because of Husk’s reversion to his old naive personality.
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Twain compensates Jim with forty dollars at the end of the novel satire for the cruelty he endures and the freedom he finally grasps despite having been freed all along, which conclusively exhibits that Mark Twain predicts Jims future to be nothing short of bleak. Sure Jims reloaded sufferance finally subsides, but most of the predicaments he experiences were highly avoidable If It were not for society ruthless, racial discrimination; Tom Sawyer’s detrimental romanticism; and the bigoted effects of religion.
Because Mark Twain leaves Jim with a grim outlook, Implying that racism and discrimination will still be prevalent into the future, he accurately anticipates the bleak prospect for African Americans today. Society eternal racism concentrated towards African Americans, including Jim despite his “freedom,” contributes to their anguish and forlorn future. Twain reveals society racial inhumanity towards Jim despite the fact that Jim was freed by Miss Watson, and conveys how a display of moral character does not elevate the treatment of African Americans.
Although the doctor reassures the men who capture Jim that he is a moral slave, the doctor’s white supremacy and bias that he exhibits is discernible to the reader when he labels Jim with a price value: So there I had to stick plumb until daylight this morning; and I never see a Niger that was a better nuns or faithfully, and yet he was ruling his freedom to do it, and was all tired UT, too, and I see plain enough he’d been worked mall hard lately. I liked the Niger for that; I tell you, gentlemen, a Niger Like that Is worth a thousand dollars?and kind treatment, too… ND the Niger never made the least row nor said a word from the doctor’s settlement of Jim is in fact highly discriminatory and bitterly insulting rather than being morally uplifting if one detects his shrouded racism. It is completely blatant that the doctor does not acknowledge Jim as his equal when he places a price over Jims head which gives the impression that Jim is not “human” because he can e bought or sold. If Jim is as moral and worthy as the doctor describes him to be, one would assume that society would not Judge him because of his race and only evaluate his flawless ethics.
However, the doctor completely ignores that kind of idealistic Judgment and continues to prove Jims inferiority when he asserts that Jim deserves “kind treatment, too” (Twain 286). In general, this analysis buttresses my claim that Jim does not possess a bright outlook because no matter how well he presents himself to whites, they will nevertheless racially discriminate him, and will notation him in a state of perpetual bias despite his “freedom”.
Jim even endures Husks racism very early in the book, and this prejudice reveals that society racial thinking has immeasurable influence. After a storm, Jim and Heck are reunited, but Husks immaturity takes command and he instead tells Jim that the whole ordeal was a dream. Heck struggles to apologize to Jim for his mistake in the following scene: “Jim looked at the trash, and then looked at me, and back at the trash again… He looked at me steady without ever smiling… T was fifteen minutes before I could work yeses up to go and humble myself to a Niger” (Twain 86). This ordeal embodies the extent of how prevalent racism is and how society influences Husks racial thinking. After being brought up in a racist, Christian, white society for most of his life, it seems natural that his conscience is affected by society’s norms. This deformed conscience is exposed in this scene because Heck does not see Jim as an equal and acts immaturely, considering he takes Jim very lightly and assumes it will not matter if he is lied to.
Obviously, Jim takes a lot of offense to this trickery, yet Heck displays further schism towards Jim, because it takes immense effort for him to even apologize. Ultimately, this type of racism proves detrimental to Jims outlook because no matter what, many people will look at him and simply Judge him automatically without taking into account his character because they were raised in a white society where their parents taught them false characterizations of African Americans.
Both of these specific incidents contribute to Twain’s goal of denying Jim an optimistic ending because society’s racism makes it seem that although Jim is a free African American an, he will never be truly equal to anyone else, particularly to the members of white society that restrain him with the shackles of racial prejudice and cruelty. In the same way that society in Twain’s novel influences Jims ending through racism and discrimination, a similar form of racism today continues to put African Americans in the same position as they once were hundreds of years ago.
Many say that ever since the civil rights movement of the sass, African Americans continue to make stellar progress in achieving rights and advancing through society, however I disagree with the entirety of that ignorant claim. Today, African American males are put through extreme bias by our legal system through mass incarceration, but many still argue that these African Americans have the ability to avoid crime.
Michelle Alexander book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Cloudlessness, supports my claim and describes how a plethora of actions or laws are enacted upon these institutions, and practices?ranging from racial profiling to biased sentencing policies, political disenfranchisement, and legalized employment discrimination? trap African Americans in a virtual (and literal) cage” (184). Society in the twenty-first century restrains African Americans in almost the same way white society did through discrimination in the era of Jim Crow.
Specifically, despite the fact that African Americans today have basic human rights and freedom unlike African Americans during slavery and Jim Crow, there is still a sense of parallelism as society still treats this minority group with inequality and denies them many opportunities because they were once incarcerated. Much like Jim and other free men in the past, these African American males have a bleak future because the Criminal Justice System will always racially target them in the War on Drugs through mass incarceration rather than equally detaining all races.
It is because of this cold truth that it is so provincial to claim that African Americans today are enjoying themselves with more opportunities and equality. Advancement in society seems far too irrational for these males when mass incarceration eternally traps them because once they are detained under the system, the Criminal Justice System pushes them into poor districts where, combined with a lack of opportunities and societal isolation, they cannot progress (Alexander 185).
Obviously, this reality is contrary to the idealistic society many people believe because most African Americans are unable to progress since they are so isolated from society. Thus brings me to my second claim that this system of mass incarceration segregates the African American society from opportunistic white society. Pertaining to the displacement of African American society from white society, Alexander asserts that “those cycling in and out of Illinois prisons today are members of America’s new racial understate.
The United States has almost always had a racial understate… Ace that is permanently locked out of mainstream, white society… How it closely resembles its predecessors” (190). This racial understate is practically analogous to the understate present during the era of Jim Crow that Jim endures where despite his freedom, he is intrinsically unequal because white society will never forget the fact that he was once a slave of African descent.
His opportunities are limited as society will socially isolate him and will deprive him of the same benefits that whites enjoy. Mass incarceration serves to segregate these ex-offenders from “mainstream, white society’ because after the yester unjustly targets them, the Criminal Justice System enacts many sanctions on the newly released that deny them public, education, housing, and employment benefits (Alexander 190). These denials push them into poorer communities where they are virtually invisible to white society (Alexander 186).
Overall, this segregation is so damaging that mainstream society is highly ignorant of what goes on in the much poorer communities because they are so regionally separated from these African American communities. One of the most profound incidents of racism occurs today ND stems from from opposition to African Americans who hold political positions. Opera Winfred highlights the racism evident today over hatred of President Barack Obama when she argues, “There is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs.
And that occurs, in some cases, and maybe even many cases, because he’s African American” (Blow 1). Opera Wineries assertion highlights the great extent to which will still be subject to racial bias in the twenty-first century, but his prediction has gone so far as to affect one of the most powerful political leaders in the world. In animation, Opera Wineries statement conveys the point that racism is still alive and common today, and is rampant enough to target President Obama, buttressing my argument that Twain was well ahead of his time.
One of the most cynical ways that Jim is denied a bright future is through Tom Sawyer’s romanticizes escape plan that puts Jim through degrading physical and emotional torture. Twain’s purpose in torturing Jim through Tom is to reveal how despite being free, Jim will always be treated like an animal. Tom reveals his apathy towards Jim in efforts to concoct an idealistic escape when he decides to introduce Jim with numerous pet animals. Jim displays excessive distress in reaction to Tom’s mercilessness in the following conversation: “Keep what, mars Tom? Why, a rattlesnake. ‘De goodness gracious alive, Mars Tom! ‘… ‘… And they wouldn’t think of hurting a person that pets them. Any book will tell you that. ‘… ‘Please, Mars Tom?Dona’ talk so! I can’t Stan’ it” (261-262). Jim and Tom’s conversation reflects the vast amount of cruelty that Tom is willing to force Jim through in order to produce a heroic escape, yet it ultimately prevents Jim from obtaining a positive ending because even though Tom is aware of the fact that Jim is free, he relentlessly attempts to put him through sufferance for his own personal amusement.
Tom’s indifference towards Jims plight reveals how even if Jim is free, he will be taken advantage of, and will be treated abusively. This predicament that Jim encounters here foreshadows that his prospect is Just as hopeless. Romanticism even today plays a huge role in clouding society’s perception on what African Americans actually experience due to mass incarceration, and this ignorance allows the racial bias towards these African American to continue since hardly anyone is aware of the African American plight to attempt to put a stop to it.
Michelle Alexander explains the romantic world that whites in society assume they live in when she explains, “Denial is facilitated by persistent racial segregation in housing and schools, by political demagoguery, by reclaimed media imagery, and by the ease of changing one’s perception of reality simply by changing television channels… The reality of mass incarceration is easier to avoid knowing… ” (182).
This denial that Alexander speaks of reveals how the continued romanticism of the world in the eyes f White society in combination with their persistent ignorance creates an underlying area of perpetual racism for African Americans who experience reality and not the fantasy many whites live in. Mass media and the Criminal Justice System conceal the system of mass incarceration so well that they essentially are the ones responsible for romanticizes reality for whites. These whites are then oblivious to the struggles of African Americans and this ignorance prevents them from doing anything about the crisis.
Romanticism poses a real threat in society today much like it does for Jim cause it clouds white peoples’ mind of the racial bias that occurs, allowing for the system of mass incarceration to continue and revealing how continued romanticism today portrays Mark Twain as a man ahead of his time who predicts the quality of life for African Americans. In Husks society, religion seems to play part of the forefront in racial bias towards African Americans, namely Jim, because Christianity approves of slavery, and religion in general serves a partial role in Jims denial of a happy ending. F slaves when Heck, at the exposition of the novel, observes, “By and by they fetched he naggers in and had prayers… ” (3) Here, Miss Watson is clearly a Christian who expresses her devotion through prayers, but along with being strongly religious, it is obvious that she owns slaves as well, which creates the connection that slavery is allowed in the Bible, and that Miss Watson does not feel an iota of immorality.
Moreover, Reverend Brown insists that “the only true interpretation of this portion of the word of God is, that species of property herein mentioned, are lawful, and that all men are forbid to disturb others in the lawful enjoyment of their property’ (Durst Johnson 136). Clearly, the reverend makes it explicit that God in the Bible allows slavery and that that fact is enough Justification to allow the institution to continue, considering religion used to dictate the lives of individual in society hundreds of years ago.
In fact the Bible is extremely bitter in some aspects towards African Americans because it even refers to them as objects by labeling them as “property’ (Durst Johnson 136). Both Miss Watson religious devotion and the biting words of the Bible correlate to reveal that because society strongly adheres to Christianity which approves of slavery, even if Jim achieves “freedom” in the end, white society Christian views will almost always influence their Judgment of Jim, and this racially biased Judgment prevents Jim and African Americans today (like Mark Twain anticipates) from possessing bright futures and working their way up in society.
Even today, racial bias is prominent in the nation’s political system where racial views towards President Barack Obama and many other African American politicians stem from an underlying influence of religion. As stated before, Mark Twain and David Cozy candidly affirm that there is a distinct connection between Christianity and slavery (Cozy 1). Cozy mentions how Twain makes a scathing comment on Christianity when he describes, “… Sills Phelps is not Just Christian but a Christian preacher… He Phelps are shown imprisoning a slave, putting him in chains and restricting him to a diet of bread and water… ” (Cozy 2). Clearly, Mr.. Phelps can be seen as a very respectable figure in society because of his strong devotion to Christianity, yet almost no one would see him at the time as an immoral human being. If Mr.. Phelps is so devout and honorable, yet inhumanely enslaves and treats an African American, than obviously Christianity tolerates slavery which is why Mark
Twain frequently satirized the religion. This correlation between religion and ultimately racism runs rampant throughout the Republican Party that is wary of signs of any other race besides white in politics. Richard Cohen expresses this partiality quite candidly when he boldly believes that “people with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York?a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. Should I mention that Bill De Bilbao’s wife McCrae, used to be lesbian? )” (Blow 1). Clearly, these “conventional sews” are motivated by religious views because being that the Republican Party consists mainly of white Protestants who believe homosexuality is a sin, their religion also influences them to view the “two biracial children” and Bill De Bilbao’s African American wife negatively.
Cone’s religious views are clearly the primary Justification he uses to supposedly gag at Bill De Bilbao’s African American wife (Blow 1). By basically saying that “people with conventional views” or common beliefs should be affirms that these conventional views stem from religious beliefs by making the association of a “gag reflex” with the mayor’s wife and children.
Moreover, a recent study conducted by Wade Rotate and her associates buttresses my claim that religion continues to influence racial views among individuals. In her study, Rotate and her team “gave a group of college students a task that had religious cues embedded within it” and these students were then questioned “about their racial attitudes” and the team discovered that the students influenced by the “religious cues” tended to be more racist than those were not (Reese 1).
This recent study goes to show that Mark Twain was correct in assuming that religion would continue to influence racial views as it did with these students, and that this kind of bias is what creates hatred towards the African American community which can potentially lead to legal segregation or more specifically, mass incarceration. Bigotry influenced through religion is evident today in society and even in politics where African Americans inevitably face insults and prejudice from those who are extremely devout, and this racism is exactly what Twain predicted.
Mark Twain leaves Jim with a very hopeless future because although he is granted freedom, society confines him in shackles, restraining him from establishing true equality for himself. With Jims depressing prospect in mind, it seems that Mark Twain could predict the future because the discrimination, romanticism, and subjugation based on Christianity that Jim endures is still prevalent today.
African American males experience societal exclusion, extreme racial bias, and perpetual sufferance as a result of mass incarceration; moreover, the romanticism that white society experiences as a result of the deceitful Criminal Justice System allows for the continuation of the segregation of African Americans in poor communities from mainstream society. Considering all of these reoccurring events, they correlate, wowing how Mark Twain, a man well ahead of his time, predicts the plight of African Americans well into the future and that little progress has been made in the treatment of African Americans.