Huckle Berry Fin

When considering Mark Twain's attitude towards slavery, it is important to remember that Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn between 1876 and 1883, after the American Civil War, but the setting for the novel was pre-war. Although Huckleberry Finn is widely considered to be one of the greatest American works of art, it was condemned in terms of slavery by many reviewers in Twain's time as coarse and by many critics in our time as racist. In order to come to any conclusions on this matter one must look closely at the different perspectives of slavery that Twain presents the reader with throughout the novel, not only through the slaves themselves but also through society's treatment of slavery.
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain portrays how Southern society accepts, unquestioningly the principle of slavery. Through the character of Huck and his internal debates, we see the conflict between what is morally right and what is legally enforced, and it is through the eyes of Huck that Twain presents the issue of slavery. At the beginning of the novel we see Huck oppressed by the Widow Douglas's expectations into conforming, and in some ways one might consider that Huck himself is a slave; to the ideals of society. We learn in the first chapter that Huck is lonely and seeks a less restrictive life through means of escape;
'she took me for her son and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied'.[1]
It is also within this first chapter, that we are introduced to slaves as characters in the novel. Huck's description of Miss Watson's big nigger, named Jim,'[2] may imply a racist attitude towards Jim, however soon after he counteracts this by his obvious awe and one might argue; respect for Jim; ..he was...