The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The separation of families through the selling of slaves is a recurrent theme in the novel. What is Twain’s attitude about this controversial issue?

Cite at least two examples from the novel that deal with the separation of families and point out the way in which Twain satirizes the issue.

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Twain was anti-slavery. He grew up in Missouri, a slave state. His father occasionally traded slaves, his uncle owned them. He witnessed atrocities against slaves first hand.

In the novel, we apprised of Twain's feelings about slavery. Jim has escaped and is running away toward his family. Their separation is the "reason" he's running. Jim is portrayed as a good man, and Huck, who is torn between being a part of his escape or turning him in, illustrates Twain's belief that both separation of families and the act of slavery itself are morally wrong.