The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn As Idol And Target : The Functions Of Criticism

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn As Idol And Target : The Functions Of Criticism

Length: 1441 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Arac, Jonathan. “Forty Years of Controversy, 1957-1996.” Huckleberry Finn as Idol and Target: The Functions of Criticism in Our Time, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1997, pp. 63–89.
Arac focuses on the perception of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by critics during the onset of the Civil Rights Movement to the end of the twentieth century. The use of the N-word, instead of the term Negro, in the novel, caused controversy in the New York school system among African-Americans in the 1950s. On the onset of the Civil Rights Movement, The New York Times declared that the novel was satire based and should remain in the school curriculum. The newspaper argued that those who protested its removal, specifically African Americans, were the bigoted ‘fools’ similar to whites in Little Rock, Arkansas. By the centennial anniversary of the novel, critics ignored the usage of the N-word and racism was essential to the novel’s authenticity. A decade later, talks of censorship had returned because of the racism associated with the novel. Finally, Arac assumes that Adventures of Huckleberry Finn displays America’s internal confusion and conflict with race.
Brown, Robert B. “One Hundred Years of Huck Finn.” AMERICAN HERITAGE, June/July 1984, pp. 20–32.
Brown discusses the centennial history of Huckleberry Finn ‘s publication and censorship. He begins by discussing the publication process of the novel. The novel’s publication was postponed considering that E.W. Kemble’s drawing of Uncle Silas’ groin exposed. Twain’s publishing company offered a five-hundred-dollar award to find the culprit. Brown states that the publishing company never discovered the fugitive. Interestingly, two hundred and fifty copies were released before the publishers...


... middle of paper ...


...radition.
Wascoe, Dan. “School Urged to Remove Huckleberry Finn from Curriculum.” Star Tribune, 21 Mar. 2007, pp. 8–13.
Wascoe analyzes the contemporary censorship of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in Minneapolis. In 2007, Black Minneapolitans became enraged by Huckleberry Finn’s fixture in Lakesville district curriculum. African Americans argued that Huckleberry Finn’s presence in the classroom evokes inequality among black and white students. Many that have opposed the novel’s removal from the curriculum have argued that the vernacular speech, satire, and usage of the N-word are essential to the authenticity of the novel. From this controversy, the district has decided to move away from teaching Huckleberry Finn. This form of censorship is similar to the censorship and negative reception that has taken place since the publication of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on From Huck Finn as Idol and Target, by Jonathan Arac

- I do not remember a time in my life when I was unaware of the existence of Huckleberry Finn. It feels as if he has always been, like a famous historical ancestor you are proudly reminded of at family gatherings. You can recite the major feats of their legendary tale but when you finally research the details of their history, you realize that it is in fact much different than what your relatives have told you over the years. American critics have applied this type of familial reverence to Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn....   [tags: Huckleberry Finn Essays]

Better Essays
671 words (1.9 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel and sequel through which Mark Twain weaves a consistent theme regarding the battle of right versus wrong. Twain presents Huckleberry Finn, or simply Huck, as the main character who finds himself on a current-driven journey down the Mississippi River to escape the abuse of his alcoholic father. The encounters of Huck and Jim, the escaped slave of the widow Mrs. Watson, serve as a catalyst for the moral based decisions in this MORAL-riddled novel. Mark Twain is considered one of America 's most highly regarded literary icons....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Better Essays
1353 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

- A bildungsroman is the journey of a character throughout their education towards an understanding of themselves and their place in the world. As they embark on this journey, the character often looks for answers to their questions regarding society and its rules and regulations through different experiences. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn fits into the category of the bildungsroman, as it depicts Huck’s difficult journey of gaining maturity and developing morals. As Huck and Jim drift down the Mississippi River, Huck is free from the rules of society and able to make his own decisions without restriction....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer]

Better Essays
1434 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

- Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered the great American Novel with its unorthodox writing style and controversial topics. In the selected passage, Huck struggles with his self-sense of morality. This paper will analyze a passage from Adventures of huckleberry Finn and will touch on the basic function of the passage, the connection between the passage from the rest of the book, and the interaction between form and content. The passage takes place in chapter 26. However, to better understand the passage itself, I believe it is necessary for some background information to be told....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Better Essays
1327 words (3.8 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

- Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has become one of the most publicly acclaimed novels of all time. The bildungsroman was initially intended to act as an unruly confrontation to slavery and racism but swiftly transformed into one of the most cherished pieces of American literature. Inside the context of the novel, Mr. Twain stores plenty of important literary devices to give his book a more profound meaning that his audience could reflect upon. Mark Twain does an excellent job in portraying Huckleberry Finn as a curious kid from the lowest caste of the social system who is struggling to make sense of society and its mass injustices....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mississippi River]

Better Essays
1308 words (3.7 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

- Much as a river shapes its banks on its course in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck grows and matures as a person as he and Jim travel down the Mississippi River. As they raft down the river, the people Huck meets and experiences he gains as well as the extreme social views he is exposed to transform him from a naive young boy to someone who has an understanding of his own morality and of the way society functions. In between the banks of the mighty Mississippi Huck learns humility, compassion, and how to do what is right even when it may be the more difficult decision....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mississippi River]

Better Essays
1525 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Huckleberry Finn By William Twain

- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been taught in classrooms all over America. What makes Mark Twains book so popular in the classroom is not his perfect plot lines, it is the characters. Twain used his protagonist Huckleberry to traverse the norms of racism. The American Journalist Nat Hentoff says this about Huckleberry Finn and his relationship with Jim “reared in racism, like all the white kids in town. And then, on the river, on the raft with Jim, shucking off that blind ignorance because this runaway slave is the most honest, perceptive, fair-minded man this white boy has ever known” (Milliken 2)....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn]

Better Essays
1323 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Huckleberry Finn

- When my high school English teacher informed our class that we would be reading Huck Finn, I felt a sense of indifference. I did not know a great deal about the novel itself; however, I had a desire to learn more. Although my lack of knowledge regarding the novel was something that I was ashamed of, I still knew that Huck Finn was going to be a fantastic read considering the fact that it was written by Mark Twain, an acclaimed authors of his time. I had also expected the novel to be full of adventure and entertainment, but the thing I did not know was that it dealt with the arguable issue of slavery....   [tags: Huckleberry Finn Essays]

Better Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

Black Humanity in Huckleberry Finn Essay

- Black Humanity in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn               Lauded by literary critics, writers and the general reading public, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn commands one of the highest positions in the canon of American literature.  On an international level, it is “a fixture among the classics of world literature” (Kaplan 352).  It “is a staple from junior high . . . to graduate school” and “is second only to Shakespeare in the frequency with which it appears in the classroom ....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Better Essays
2397 words (6.8 pages)

Huckleberry Finn Essay example

- MARK TWAIN AND "THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN" Mark Twain was born on the Missouri frontier and spent his childhood there. His real name is actually Samuel Langhorne Clemens. At the age of 12 he quit school in order to earn his living. At the age of 15 he already wrote his first article and by the time he was 16 he had his first short novel published. In 1857 he was an apprentice steamboat pilot on a boat that left Mississippi and was leading towards New Orleans. His characters were created because of the people and the situations he encountered on this trip....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain Book Review]

Better Essays
1181 words (3.4 pages)