Language, books and, literature

June 3, 2019 General Studies

Language, books and, literature normally a form of escape or a tool for learning can also be abused and become a tool of oppression. Now a days it is not common to find oppression, but it still is pretty common in most forms in books unless the premise of the book is to inform others about a past event or to try and suck you into a world that has it. There is a ton of great examples of oppression throughout all of literature from the past. Most examples though are a reflection of the time period they are written about or were written in.

Not all forms of oppression are intentional but can happen just due to a reflection of the time trying to be progressive but still backfiring. The work of Mark Twain is a great reflection of this. Take the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin as an example. Though the story was written after the civil war and therefore after the abolishment of slavery, it takes place before the war in the slavery dominated south. A majority of the characters with in the story are white slave owners. Jim, a vital character though out Huckleberry Fin, is constantly being sought after for the bounty on his head being a runaway slave. Though the novel tries to show Jim as a courageous man with a heart who’s scared, much like anyone would be, of being forcefully separated from his family, even though this turns out to not be the real plans they had for him. “My heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn’t k’yer no mo’ what become er me en de raf’. En when I wake up en fine you back agin’, all safe en soun’, de tears come en I could a got down on my knees en kiss’ yo’ foot I’s so thankful. En all you wuz thinkin ’bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie.”

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Jim is portrayed as an ignorant black man much like they were thought to be at the time. Even though Jim was an important character he really just serves as an accessory to huckleberry much like the majority of his race at the time. The idea at the time was progressive to have a white main character get assisted by a black or colored man but still it shows them as beneath.

Though oppression within books is fairly common it’s slowly going away on the outside world as the world slowly but surely keeps moving forward. It is not kept completely in books though, just like all language isn’t just books.


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