Notable, is the fact that the word “nigger” has been repeated in the novel more than two hundred times.
Langston Hughes, in his autobiography comments that ”the word Used rightly or wrongly, ironically or seriously, of necessity for the sake of realism, or impishly for the sake of comedy, it doesn’t matter (Webb, para. Since the African-Americans do not like the word, that is why some of them have heavily criticized Twain for using the word so many times in the book. Ballard is one of the critics of the language used in the novel.
Through the use of satire, the touching and exciting adventures depicted in the novel portray significant themes that are of essence in the American society.
On the other hand, the book is also the subject of major controversies.
Since its publication, the work of fiction has been criticized and banned from libraries because of its alleged offenses to propriety.
Nonetheless, the popularity of the book has not been affected by these controversies.“People would call me a low-down Abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum-but that don’t make no difference. If the novel were racist, Huck could not have even attempted to assist his friend in escaping from the yolk of slavery.The language of the book has also been a subject of criticism.The negative portrayal of Jim by the author is the main reason why Wallace campaigned for the banning of the book from institutions of learning.Wallace concludes his essay by promoting his own adapted version of the novel “which no longer depicts blacks as inhuman, dishonest, or unintelligent” (Leonard, 24).Mark Twain presents him as rather ‘subhuman,’ feeble-minded, wicked, and indolent, which shows that he is inferior to the white people.For example, the statement, “Miss Watson’s nigger, Jim, had a hair-ball as big as your fist, which had been took out of the fourth stomach of an ox, and he used to magic with it”( Twain, 17), depicts the subordinate status of Jim.Although during that time blacks were treated inhumanly, Huck and Jim related well with one another and found pleasure in carrying out common activities.During the times of slavery, the two races were very different and the whites were thought to be superior. However, in the novel, Mark Twain points out that one can share common interests with another regardless of his or her racial background. He was telling Jim that he wont tell anybody about his escape from slavery.When he discovers that his owner, Miss Watson, wanted to sell him to other people in the south, he escapes and travels with Huck along the river.Wallace posits that Jim is portrayed as a model of the stereotypes that were connected with the Black minority in the nineteenth century racist discourse.