Dehumanization Of The Huckleberry Finn By William Twain Essay

Dehumanization Of The Huckleberry Finn By William Twain Essay

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Dehumanization-To dehumanize is to treat someone or something as if they are not human; living and breathing like you and I. It could happen to anyone from any race or social class, and even animals. There are many large occurrences of it throughout human history like the Holocaust, and even small instances that happen on a daily basis like bullying. Throughout their adventures, Huck and Jim encounter dehumanization on quite a few occasions. Within this essay I plan to analyze the dehumanization of animals; all the unsuspecting pigs and dogs that get put down, tortured or killed. On top of that I plan to touch on Pap and Boggs- two characters encountered by Huck and Jim, who are dehumanized due to their love for liquor. The final case of dehumanization I will analyze is one that many may not have noticed; our narrator himself, Huckleberry Finn- Especially how Tom Sawyer views him in comparison to how he views Jim.
What has Mark Twain got against pigs and dogs? Within The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there are a handful of instances where pigs and dogs are treated as if they had no business being alive. “I fetched the pig in, and took him back nearly to the table and hacked into his throat with the axe, and laid him down on the ground to bleed” (Twain, 319). Here, in chapter seven, Huck slaughters a pig to fake his own death. He doesn’t think anything of it; he just pulls the trigger. There is no humanity for this pig, only waste. Afterwards Huck just drops the used up carcass in the river. Later on in the novel there is an even worse act of dehumanization towards stray dogs. “There couldn’t anything wake them up all over, and make them happy all over, like a dog fight—unless it might be putting turpentine on a stray dog and se...


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... quality to learn and Tom is doing the same to Huck. Due to the connection, I’d say Tom is putting Huck down twice as hard. Not only is he bad at learning and understanding, but he’s just about as good at it as a black slave.
These aren’t even all of the examples of dehumanization within The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I’m sure if you looked hard enough you could find plenty more, which gets me thinking; maybe it is a theme within the novel. Did Twain purposely put dehumanization throughout the novel to get a message across to the reader? I think that is a definite for the dehumanization of slaves, but is it the same for the others who are dehumanized? I’d say people are dehumanized in daily life more than most people notice for thousands of reasons. That is just how the culture is today and how it was back then. This novel does a fine job of depicting that.

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