Psychological And Biological Slavery

Huck's Chains
Slavery in our society is usually thought of as physical. However, as the critic Keith Neilson stated, there are many forms of slavery. Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, contains many varied examples of slavery. In fact, Neilson believes that the novel actually "about slavery--political, institutional, religious, biological, psychological, and moral..."(xi). Because Mark Twain's novel is set in the American 1840s, it reflects the points of view of individuals and society in this time, which differs greatly from now, the American 1990s. Three types of slavery that catch the reader's eye in Huckleberry Finn are psychological, biological, and moral. ...

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is illiterate and oppressive and threatens to Huck that he will "take some of these frills out o' you before I'm done with you" (20) because he suspects Huck of putting on airs and thinking he's better then his father. Pap treats Huck very badly, but since he is Huck's father, Huck figures there is nothing he can do. This is evident when Pap first comes back and demands money from Huck so he can get whiskey, "Say how much you got in your pocket? I want it." "I hain't got only a dollar, and I want that to--" "It don't make no difference what you want it for-- you just shell it out"(21). This father-son relationship is detrimental to them both. Pap's abusive nature controls Huck through fear, and it is the driving force for Huck as he fakes his death and flees down the river.
The Widow Douglas and Miss Watson also try to put Huck under a kind of psychological slavery. They do this under the guise of trying to "sivilize" him. Huck believes that they are enslaving him by trying ...

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biological makeup. This novel is mainly focused on race, or the color of skin, and also concentrates on family heritage. Almost all whites in this novel are placed above blacks because they were believed to be more civilized. Though Huck and Jim are friend on the river, when Huck feels bad after playing a trick on Jim in a fog and hurting Jim's feelings, the fact that he is white and is place socially above Jim makes it difficult for him to apologize and "it was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger"(86).
Because it was common in the south during the 1840s to own, buy, and sell slaves, characters in Mark Twain's novel did so. The ...

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Psychological And Biological Slavery. (2004, May 13). Retrieved April 4, 2020, from
"Psychological And Biological Slavery.", 13 May. 2004. Web. 4 Apr. 2020. <>
"Psychological And Biological Slavery." May 13, 2004. Accessed April 4, 2020.
"Psychological And Biological Slavery." May 13, 2004. Accessed April 4, 2020.
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Added: 5/13/2004 01:12:05 PM
Category: Social Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1659
Pages: 7

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