Huckleberry Finn Should Be Banned

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In 1998, McClintock High School in Tempe, Arizona assigned students to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. The book has long been regarded as a controversial novel, and each generation that comes upon it has found something that rubs against the current societal norms. The mother of a student at McClintock took serious offense to the use of the word, “nigger” throughout the book and protested that it be banned due to the racial discrimination (Source I). Huck Finn is just one of the many pieces of literature that have been labelled “challenging,” and many feel that they do not deserve a place in schools’ curriculum. However, the study of challenging literature introduces students to new ideas and lessons that they can apply…show more content…
Different types of literature open new doors through which students’ can explore the unknown and expand their knowledge of controversial topics. The great examples found in literature have been the subject of much debate, as school boards wrestle with whether children should be allowed to read such difficult, harsh topics, as said in the article “How Banning Books Marginalizes Children” (Source F). There are so many brilliant works of literature spanning a wide variety of genres and topics, and a single school board should not determine what students learn. No one is proposing that second graders read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, but rather that we intentionally choose literature that will expand, rather than limit, children’s options and minds. Not only do these great works lay the groundwork for our future generation, but they also serve to diversify students’ writing and analysis skills. Toni Morrison effectively analyzed The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, covering different perspectives and ways to interpret the novel that displays a higher level understanding of a “challenging” text. Good writing and analysis skills are crucial for a variety of different tasks students will have to perform beyond school. Additionally, challenging literature offers a great opportunity for students to learn about censorship. As many books read in schools today are being censored, any opportunity for students to directly learn more about the issue is beneficial. In the article “Schools Can’t Ban Books Because of Complaints, Court Says,” Mark Walsh addresses a woman who wishes to discard of controversial works, such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, that provoke racial harassment in the school system (Source B). She wishes to withhold this information from students merely to protect the painful feelings evoked from reading such disputed topics. Censorship is an incredibly
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