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

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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...

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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.

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