In 1865 Mark Twain wrote what would become one of the most controversial books in American history, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” He wrote this novel with brazen confidence. This novel became a very difficult, controversial topic with many different views and opinions. The most common side taken for this topic is the side that: Yes, it is a racist book, but that was the norm for the time. Addressing people by the “N” word was socially acceptable, and usually was not even done in a hateful manner, because it was the vernacular of this time. Many people’s aversion to this book makes this topic and discussion so much more interesting and in today’s standards, it is definitely racist. No doubt. But how are we going to learn from our mistakes in the past if we aren’t being taught them in the first place. It allows the readers, or in this case students, to see what intolerance is and how things have changed from then to today. Many of the novels in this time period are now considered racist, but were once were completely normal. There are many arguments as to why this novel should be banned from public high schools, but for every argument there is a reason as to why it is false and should still be taught.Due to these facts, the novel Huckleberry Finn should be taught in public school systems without question.
...ain, should definitely be taught in every high school classroom. By using the powerful relationship of Huck and Jim, Twain illustrates the morals that these characters had attained during the course of the novel. Tom started off as a troublemaker and turned into a young man that truly cares for his friends, no matter what color skin they had. And Jim turned out to be a caring and compassionate friend that most people back then would have never even thought of. The fact that Mark Twain accomplished all of these feats even with the use of the “n-word” makes the novel even more noteworthy. It should never be prevented from being taught to any student; every student should have the opportunity to read and take in the important messages this book has to offer. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a lifelong American classic that will never fade away in American history.
The first point of the novel from which most controversy stems is the inclusion of the word “nigger”. The inclusion of the word in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is unnecessary and offensive. Initially, critics of the novel disliked Twain’s use of vernacular because it was “vulgar and unpleasant”, disturbing genteel white Americans, not because the word “nigger” was found to be offensive (Kaye 3). Fostering an uncomfortable atmosphere for black students, critics believe that primarily white educators allow the novel because they prefer Twain’s depiction of subservient blacks (Kaye 4). Due to the prolific use of the “n-word” throughout the novel, the NAACP believes the story causes damage to black students’ self-esteem (Powell 3). Critics argue Twain’s use of a...
Over the 129 years for which the book has been in print, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been regarded with much controversy, for many different reasons. As it has progressed, the subject of this controversy has been almost constantly changing. This essay will explore some of the claims and explanations of the controversy, as well as a discussion on whether the book is even that controversial. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion about this novel, The main complaints seem to revolve around three core topics: Twain’s portrayal of Jim and other blacks, The extensive use of the racial slurs and racism, and the final chapters of the book itself.
Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is said to be one of the greatest American novels to ever be written and is what all other pieces of American literature are based off of. The novel has been debated for over an entire century and will continue to be debated for much longer. Never the less, Huckleberry Finn teaches young students and adults the important life lessons. ”The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain should remain required reading in American Literature classes because it enlightens students about the horrors of racism and slavery, familiarizes students with the South during time period, and properly portrays the powers of conformity.
...feels the material is appropriate and what lessons can be taught from the materials in the book. Secondly, the teacher needs to have a deep understanding of the content they are presenting so that it can be presented in the best possible way that will promote positive discussions. Last, the school should stand behind any teacher that is willing to take on such controversial topics and help that teacher build a positive base for such literary exploration. We cannot change history instead we must embrace it and learn from it. Removing controversial novels from the curriculum that depict realism limits that student and their ability to learn from the past. The discussions that the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn promote will create valuable life lessons that almost any student can relate to and will likely leave an impression that will last a lifetime.
All across the United States, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is known as a great American classic. Although it has been perceived to many controversial, there are many valid arguments as to why it is the quintessential American novel. The themes Huck Finn portrays obvious themes that play a key role in America; especially in the time it was published such as racism, slavery, and a child running away from home to help out someone who was seen as below him. Along with the controversial elements in the paper, the novel’s characters also had individual voices that made them all stand out in a way that made it more interesting to read. The theme of perseverance is apparent as Jim and Huck Finn are separated on multiple occasions.
The Adventure’s of Huckleberry Finn’s unique ability to incorporate moral lessons through satire and simmilar literary techniques prove it to be vital for High school students, especially at Rye, to read. The vast nature of things it teaches is something very rare for one book to do. It not only provides the reader with important life themes like other great novels do but it also shocks the reader to show the power of racism which makes it one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time. Just think of how different things would be if no one had read such an important book.
Paula Lieder is a high school English teacher, and in her classroom while teaching this novel, she leads the class in discussions about racism and slavery. Lieder says that when reading this book “the discussion of race and prejudice must occur.” Her class also discusses the controversy of the book and the use of the word “nigger” (Lieder). When reading this novel students may ask themselves questions about the use of the word “nigger” and how it affects the book like Holbrook did. It’s obvious that Mark Twain was a good writer, and he knew what he was writing. So why would he use the word “nigger” repeatedly? (“Huckleberry Finn”) Holbrook would say it’s because Twain wants the reader to feel disgusted and upset. In order for Twain to get his readers to understand the hurtful nature of this word, he hit them with it over and over (“Huckleberry Finn”). Huckleberry Finn also stirs students’ imaginations while presenting information about human nature. Leo Marx says in Sharon Rush’s article,
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel written by Mark Twain during the late 1800’s (Mintz). The book brought major controversy over the plot, as well as the fact that it was a spin-off to his previous story, Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This book has remained a success due to Twain’s interesting techniques of keeping the audience’s attention. Chapters eleven and twelve of “Huckleberry Finn,” uses a first person limited point of view to take advantage of the use of dialogue while using many hyperboles to add drama to entertain the reader by creating description within the story without needing to pause and explain.
When classes learn about Huckleberry Finn it is not read for the enjoyment of reading. It is used to teach students about racism and explain how Mark Twain could possibly be called a racist. But if you were to treat the whole book as a racist book you would miss the entire point of his story. Back when I read this book in class last year, much of the discussions I had with others was based on whether or not the book is considered to be racist.
The novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an extremely important work of literature that addresses many world problems such as: poverty, race relations, and our role in society. Although some of these issues are not as prevalent today as they were in the 1880s, the novel still sends an important satirical message to anyone who is willing hear this story. This essay will analyze Huckleberry Finn and its relation to society today; the main issues that are addressed include: Huckleberry’s growth as a moral and upstanding person, race relations between African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans including Huck’s relation to Jim and the issue of slavery, the role of society and an analysis of Huck’s role in society and society’s role in Huckleberry’s personality.
Despite all the criticism, of racism and other questionable material for young readers, Mark Twain’s The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn is a superbly written novel, which in the opinion of this reviewer should not be remove the literary cannon. Twain’s novel is a coming of age story that teaches young people many valuable lessons and to some extend makes students reexamine their own lives and morals. The most common argument for its removal from the literary canon is that the novel is too racist; it offends black readers, perpetuates cheap slave-era stereotypes, and deserves no place on today’s bookshelves. However one must ask if Twain is encouraging traditional southern racism or is Twain disputing these idea.
“Mark Twain.” Literary Themes for Students: Race and Prejudice. Ed. Anne Marie Hacht. 2 vols. Farmington Hills: Thomson Gale, 2006. 1:55-71.
Since its first publication in 1884, Mark Twain’s masterpiece The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has proven to be one of history’s most controversial novels; especially recently, the novel has often been banned by schools and censored by libraries. Characters in the book are constantly using disparaging language toward slaves, and the repeated use of the word “nigger” makes many sensitive and offended. Critics denounce the novel and Mark Twain as racist for this word being insulting and politically incorrect and for its depiction of black people and how they are treated. However, Twain was not attempting to perpetuate racism; on the contrary, he used satire to expose the ignorance and paradoxical views held by many in America at that time. Despite objections to the novel for offensive and insensitive portrayal of African Americans due to Twain’s negative and stereotypical “minstrel-like” characterization of Jim and the extensive use of the term “nigger,” throughout the novel, Twain exposes Jim’s unfeigned humanity behind a “minstrel-like” pretense by illustrating his capacity to possess profound human emotions and his triggering Huck’s moral transformation from a conscienceless, uncivilized juvenile into a an adolescent able to make the ethical choice.