The literary classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, has been center of controversy for many reasons and has even been banned before. This novel revolves around the many obstacles and individuals Huckleberry Finn and runaway slave, Jim, encounter as they make their way down the Mississippi River. Although this book is known as a staple in American literature, it has been criticized by many for an array of reasons, one of them being that Huck Finn is a racist. Despite the evidence, Huck Finn is a racist only because he is ignorant and does not know better. First and foremost, you must take into consideration where this story takes place and who is wrote it. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, otherwise known by his more popular pen name, Mark Twain is known as one of the most satirical and influential figures of his time. It has been stated that “Mark Twain is often considered to be the most well-recognized example of a regionalist writer who captured the accuracy of the south” (Gardner, Lecture). Furthermore, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was set a few years before the civil war despite being written and published around 1884 which was roughly forty to fifty years after the time the story was set in. The tale takes place in St. Petersburg, a town off the Mississippi River. St. Petersburg was based on the hometown of Twain called Hannibal, Missouri. His depiction of the town and people who lived in it are very accurate. What I mean by this is, many of the people who lived in town were openly racist, and only saw African Americans as property. This type of environment is what Huck grew up in and it is all he knows. No one is born racist; racism is taught. Huckleberry Finn grew up in the type of environment where it was normal to own slaves. He grew up in a time where discrimination against blacks was the norm. In an article from Clarionledger.com it states, “The results of a study conducted in 2012 by Mahzarin Banaji, a renowned Harvard University psychologist, brain researcher, and racism and physical prejudice expert, and colleagues suggests that even though they may not understand the “why” of their feelings, children exposed to racism tend to accept and embrace it as young as age 3, and in just a matter of days” (Grace 1). This quote means that children as young as three years old are able to observe and comprehend racism enough to execute it. This perfectly correlates with a quote from the late Nelson Mandela’s book Long Walk to Freedom, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite” (Mandela 384).Going off of that, Huckleberry Finn eventually puts aside his pride and is able to ignore all he has learned growing up to save Jim. Towards the end of the book, Huck Finn must make the decision to either turn in Jim or to let him free. From what he has learned, he believes that helping a black slave is not the right thing to do. In chapter thirty-one of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Huck says “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” (Twain 217). This was one of the numerous times Huck says that he would rather go to hell than to turn in Jim to Widow Douglas. Even though Jim is the adult of the two, Huck being a white kid will always have power over Jim. This further proves Huck is not a racist, and that he was only taught to hate blacks from the people he grew up around. But what changed Huck? After spending all that time on the raft with Jim, Huck was capable of reading the world more carefully and was able to distinguish between good, bad, right and wrong. This means that while Huck and Jim were on the run, Huck put himself into Jim’s shoes and understood where he was coming from and how he would feel if he was in that situation.On the other side, many argue that the protagonist, Huck Finn is a racist. At one point, Huck is telling Jim the story of King Solomon and Jim has difficulty following Huck’s skewed version. As Huck grows frustrated by Jim’s incomprehension, he says, “I never see such a nigger.” (Twain 81). In this case, Huck makes a racist comment only based off of the intelligence of Jim. This shows that for Huck, it is not a matter of age and experience, race is the main determining factor of one’s intelligence. Although I believe Huck’s ignorance of Jim often caused him to say many racist comments. As I said previously, Huck’s racist demeanor comes from the fact that he is only a 13-year-old boy that has been around racism ever since he could remember. Towards the end of the novel when Tom, Huck, and Jim finally manage to put their escape plan into action, they run to the Phelp’s farm. During their getaway, Tom is shot. Jim makes the executive decision to send Huck for a doctor, even though bringing a doctor to Tom would compromise Jim’s chance at freedom. After this, Huck comments, “I knowed he was white inside” (Twain 278), stating that Jim’s ability to make a good decision put him at the level of a white person. This is a racist opinion because it implies that only white people are capable of making good decisions. At this point, Huck’s ignorance does not allow him to realize that just because Jim is black, it does not restrict him from being intelligent and make the right decisions.As Jim and Huck made their way down the river they began to grow a bond. After being able to get to really know each other Huck started to understand Jim and grow sympathy for him One example of Huck’s true and sincere sympathy for Jim happens on the river, when Huck and Jim are trying to travel in secret. Two men see their raft and Jim leaps overboard to avoid being spotted. As the men draw near Huck deceives them and says that his family has died and the only one remaining is his sick father. The men become wary of the sickness and Huck leads them to believe it is smallpox. The men then refuse to approach the raft and Huck has protected Jim by saving him from being caught. He then thinks to himself, ” hold on; s’pose you’d a done right and give Jim up, would you felt better than what you do now? No, says I, I’d feel bad” (Twain 94). In this scene it showed that once you truly get to know someone and feel sympathy for them race does not matter.All in all, Huck Finn is not a racist. Although throughout the novel he makes many offensive racist comments towards blacks, Huck means nothing of it and does not know better. He grew up where racism is a fact in society and he was able to look past those “sins” and make the right choice of helping Jim fight towards freedom. In his adventures, I believe Huck essentially found himself and realized that what he says and does affect others around him.