In the essay, Wallace examines the racism in the novel in a bid to protect the African Americans from “mental cruelty and harassment depicted in the novel.
Wallace has been one of the prominent critics of Mark Twain and the essay is a return to the objections he has made about the novel’s historical significance elsewhere.
Moreover, pointing to his own adapted version, he recommends, “this book should not be used with children (Leonard, 24). Robinson and James Cox also asserted a critical attitude towards the novel.
The former claimed that “Jim eventually reverts to a two dimensional character, gullible and superstitious” while the latter “never actually asserts a strong position on the character of Jim, placing him in ambiguity” (Wrobel, 4).
“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.
Mark Twain is regarded by most people as one of the important American works of fiction ever written because of its artistry and evocation of major themes within the United States of America.
The book received praises because of its ability to teach crucial lessons as well as entertain its readers.
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).