Sawyer, Twain writes about Huck Finn, a white teenager who faked his own death to run away from his town and later meets a runaway slave Jim, who escaped because he was going to be sold. The two of them start their journey by floating down the river while encountering many obstacles which add to Huck’s ironic humor towards Jim where he looks down upon him but still contributes to Jim’s escape from slavery by helping him get away from his plantation and escorting him on the raft to different states. The tone of Huck’s belittling of Jim, the black man, comes through his “racist, but uplifting” comments. In Huckleberry Finn,
Mark Twain uses Huck’s attitude of “looking down upon” Jim, the runaway slave and Twain’s own ironic humor to satirize both racism and the lack of knowledge possessed by many Pre-Civil War Era. Twain’s satire of racism stands out through many quotes within the book. One stated while Jim is talking about missing his family, Huck says “He was a mighty good nigger, Jim was.” (Twain 155) Huck, unlike many, has a fairly “easy” time getting along with African Americans during this time, by contributing to Jim’s escape and making numerous actions to save him from going back into slavery. For example, when Huck states that his dad is dying to keep the men away from the raft where Jim awaited, but this quote was intended by Twain to “degrade” the race of Jim by giving him a compliment by saying he was mighty good, but also bring him down within the very same sentence. Doing this by simply suggesting most of Jims race was not. This tone is continued within this quote by Huck stating that Jim was “Low” and “Homesick” and saying, “he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n.”(Twain 155) also building up Jim by suggestion he has a good heart and cares for his family but in the very same instance disgracing his race by suggesting others of his race do not.
Twain adds another satire through Miss Watson the good Christian Lady. This is added due to the way many portray her as a “loyal christian” who has good morals and lives her life correctly. What he saterizes is her owning of slaves and trying to sell Jim, which would take him away from his family. This is a satire of the American people who are worried about living their life the correct way but also own other people and use them as slaves, which contradicts Miss Watson’s