From Clutches to Freedom


  • Anseeya Vaz Department of English, Christ University (Deemed to be), Bangalore, India
  • S. S. Tharsanna Department of English, Christ University (Deemed to be), Bangalore, India


Alienation, American society, Marxism, Racism, Slavery


In this literary review, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, a commentary on the social institutions of Slavery and discrimination will be the main text to highlight my arguments regarding Racism and Marxist Theory. However, the primary focus will be on racial discrimination, which is recognized here as a problem and thus opposing it to find an explanation, which German Philosopher Hegel describes as "Dialectic". The essence of dialectic is, therefore, opposition. Being an American classical writer, Twain portrays racial discrimination in U.S. society, which is still a rolling feature. However, in this classic, Racism is analyzed in history and as a central aspect of the economic system according to the Base and Superstructure model of Marx, where the economic base determines the other social status. Examination of the Marxist theory that Racism serves the interest of the capitalist or employer class by dividing black and white workers reduces their potential unity and thus bargains their power. Intellectual and Moral Education here become the basis of the whole idea of freeing Jim or Slavery, for that matter, in the novel. However, education also becomes a superstructure for Huck, which is seen to be privatized or limited only to the elite class. This also highlights the situation in the U.S. in the 1830s when education was restricted to the lower class, resulting from corruption by middle-class capitalists. The text also portrays the concept of Alienation as a result of the exploitation of one's social class, which was also evident in the European society as Charles Dickens talks about this phenomenon in his novels written chiefly during the Industrial Revolution. In this text, Slavery becomes the ideology followed by the society, mainly the whites, of exploiting the 'blacks'. The concept of wealth or lack is thereof is threaded throughout the novel and highlights the disparity between the rich and the poor. The king and the Duke represent capitalism by swindling people and taking advantage of the situation, thereby abusing their power. The article’s primary focus would be on the factors of the Marxist theories and bringing out the arguments on the theory. The novel, therefore, gives an insight into vivid explanations of the factors mentioned above, which forms the basis of the Marxist theory. Thus, twain uses his knowledge of the Civil War outcome to influence his characters based on Marxism (adapted to the issue of race conflict in America). He explains the parallel between the working/capitalists and the slaves/whites and uses a Marxist perspective to give his protagonist Huck an essential sense of truth and correctness.


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How to Cite

A. Vaz and S. S. Tharsanna, “From Clutches to Freedom”, IJRESM, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 114–118, Mar. 2021.