Critical Thinking: Interpreting a Text Using CRT
By houghtonka, Updated
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In Chapter 6 of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pap, Huck's dad is seen in a drunken rage, saying how the government is corrupted because "free niggers" have the ability to vote and have the same privileges as white men. "There was a free nigger there, from Ohio' a mulatter, most as white as a white man...they said he could vote...What is this country a-coming to?" (Twain 20).
This situation can be related to "White Privilege" according to The Critical Race Theory. In relation to the idea compared to the situation discussed above, there is a political advantage to people of Caucasian heritage in correlation to those of colored decent. As shown in a quote from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pap is convinced that the government has gone to trash because a "free nigger" was able to vote, showing the privileges of being a white man in that time.
In Chapter 14 of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck and Jim are discussing world language. Jim cannot believe that people around the world speak so many different languages, since he sees ll people as equal. "Well, it's a blame ridicklous way, en I doan' want to hear no mo' 'bout it. Dey ain' no sense in it" (Twain 60).
This discussion can be related to the idea of "Microaggression" as presented in The Critical Race Theory. Microggression is a word to describe subconcious thoughts and actions indirectly being taken as racist or containing racist ideals. Jim's confusion about the world having such a wide variety in language can be seen as a subtle relation to the inequality he has experienced as a slave. Huck does not realize that Jim's confusion connects to his yearn for equality in the society they live in and how Huck's view on language can be seen as a way to separate people and name them according to one difference from one to the other.
In Chapter 16 of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim tell Huck that he is going to steal his children back, and Huck is not pleased with the idea at all. "Here was this nigger, which I had as good as helped to run away, coming right out flat-footed and saying he would steal his children—children that belonged to a man I didn't even know; a man that hadn't ever done me no harm" (Twain 67).
This situation can be related to Intersectionality and anti-essentialism according to The Critical Race Theory. Intersectionality and anti-essentialism is the idea that one's identiy does not determine their characteristics, that we cannot predict who someone is and what makes them who they are. At this point in the book, Huck has taken a step back into his racial views and sees Jim's children only as objects to a white man, completely disregarding the idea tha tthey are human and equals, even if they have a different shade of skin.
He's been drunk all overtown...
Call this a government!?
Looky here Jim; does a cat talk like we do?
No, a cat don't.
I was sorry to hear Jim say that.
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