Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reaction to Mark Twain Trial Verdict

Throughout the Mark Twain Mock Trail I have been surprised, and when the verdict was not guilty I was very surprised.  My character who I played was Jim, and I found that through Jim I learned more about the book than I thought I would have.  When Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was discussed in class, I understood the satirical references and how Mark Twain had wrote this book in a way that would make people think on purpose.  However, when I was on the stand and was being asked the question “Don’t you think that Twain made Jim have the best morals on purpose” I had to think about the question because I was not sure what he really wanted.  Twain’s writing I thought was supposed to be controversial. 

During the trial I went into it thinking Twain’s intent was not a racist one, but the prosecution made a great case.  They pointed out things that I did not realize were even there.  For example, I thought about how Huck wrote the note to Miss Watson about turning Jim in, and I thought about how Huck called me his property.  These things did not occur to me or stand out as greater as before.  Although these were just two things that stand out to me, there were more that made me question my original thoughts.  I had the idea that Twain wrote this on purpose to show how ridiculous racism is.  As the trial went on, I questioned what his beliefs were, and I started to believe that Twain was a racist.

Both sides had a great argument, but overall I thought that the prosecution really had the jury persuaded for the verdict to be guilty.  The jury was also rushed and had already been taught that Twain was not a racist and he was writing in a form of satire. For the prosecutors to come into the trial with that on there shoulders and convince four out nine is still very impressive. I think that Jim would be upset with this verdict, because I would be offended if someone was writing things that were hateful about me in “The Great American Novel”.  I may not think that Twain was a racist, but I definitely considered it and will continue to ponder the thought. This trial was a really great learning experience for me, but ultimately I think that the verdict was very surprising.  

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