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
Ryan Scaggs Mrs. Johnson Huck Finn Essay October 25, 2015 Racism and Slavery Throughout Throughout his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain exposes many themes that related well with the 1880s America during which Twain wrote the novel. Many important themes are at the center of the book, such as the conflict between civilization and Huck’s “natural life”. However, the most well-known thematic aspect of this novel is the inclusion of racism and slavery in that day’s society.
The n-word might be offensive to some people, but if that word is changed with other words or the book is banned because of that word, the issue of censorship raises. Any type of art is about expressing ideas without boundaries, and censorship might take away the opportunity of reading a great piece of literature in schools. If an author wants to reveal racism in society, “[he has to] show racists as they are, speaking as they would speak” (Fishkin). Mark Twain had to use the n-word and show the conditions as they are to reveal the true racism. As Fishkin says, “the difference between the almost right word a[n]d the right word is really a large matter”, and changing the word still creates censorship.
American literature has always been a form of entertainment and education. When slaves were introduced as characters in books, they were always negative, stereotypical characters, but not until 1883 when Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a change made. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book about a southern white boy in the 1800’s that runs away with an escaped slave on the Mississippi River. For years, schools have been debating on if the book should be banned in schools or not, and it is already on a variety of banned lists. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not be banned in schools because it is an anti-slavery novel that teaches students valuable lessons and informs students of the past culture.
Many books have been censored or banned in libraries and schools across the United States because of their suggestive or inappropriate content. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, a sequel to the popular The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is one of the books that are being illuminated as “unfit to read”. It is the story a young boy, Huck, and a black man, Jim, in the 1800s, who ran away and their journey across the Mississippi River. It is a controversial piece in a majority of the classrooms across America. In this book, the N word shows up over two hundred times (Here's Why Banning 'Huck Finn' Over The N-Word Sends The Wrong Message).
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, why this book written by Mark Twain should be on the banned books list in schools and why it is too mature for it’s students. This book is full of situations that honesty students are not able to handle, leaving inappropriate impressions about racism and how to treat people and is going to cause teenagers and young adults to repeat the language and personalities seen in this, to other groups of this century that are fitting now The problem with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn isn’t that it is a bad book, not that maybe it is poorly written or isn’t a learning experience. The fact of the matter is that students do not hold the attention span or mental capacity to be forced to deal with this. While some may use to excuse that high school students may have enough knowledge over these situations, or if explained, people would enjoy the moral of the story more, that is not always the case.
For the reason that the n-word appears 219 times in the novel, many schools have decided to ban the book in their classrooms. Cautiously questioning students whether or not the novel arouses an “uncomfortable” (Coeyman) feeling, teachers debate on teaching The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Multiple teachers feel that their inter-racial classes may include students who feel offended by the n-word. Various schools have considered the novel to be “...too racially offensive…”(Coeyman). For instance, school districts in Virginia have banned the book after a mother complained about how her son was disturbed by the “‘...racial slurs in there and offensive wording that you can’t get past…’”(Balingit).
During the 1840s in Missouri, a young boy name Huckleberry Finn runs away from home. At his first destination, he meets Jim, a run away slaves. The story goes along with the adventure of Huck and Jim. Along the way floating in Mississippi river, Huck and Jim meet many people. The most significant character they met was the King and Duck, the con artists, who help to show the growth in Huck 's moral while creating sorts of problems.
Marie Herrin Mrs. Huffaker AP Language 12 January 2016 Racism in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn An issue of central importance in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is the controversial topic of racism. In chapter six, Twain manipulates his reader’s response to racism by controlling the speaker and surrounding circumstances of the bigoted statements in a way that pushes the reader to reject the racism because they have already rejected the speaker. In order to influence his readers, Twain utilizes the rhetorical devices of characterization and satire to show the immorality of the racist message.
It can be easy to be offended when reading Huck Finn if you are ignorant to the fact that it was written as a satire. According to the American Library Association, the majority of all challenges of literature are initiated by parents, at 48% — with Huck Finn being 7 on the Top ten most frequently challenged books of 2002 (Document A). “Parents challenged these books with the best intentions — to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information.” The reason parents tend to challenge Huck Finn is because of its offensive language. While the novel does contain offensive language, the language is not suppose to be the focus of the novel.
The use of racial slurs throughout Huck Finn has been a controversial subject since the novel's publication in 1885. The most notable of these slurs the 214 occurrences of the word. The teachers worried that the use of such derogatory language may be an insult to The Many African American students in the diverse school systems of today's America and thus exclude the novel for from their curriculums.
When people read a work of literature many expect it to be a literary masterpiece. What makes a work of literature great is not through the approval of society, but by the author pushing his point out to the audience without regarding the disapproval from society he might receive. Although it is a controversial topic of whether Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn needs republishing due to the use of the word “nigger”, the novel teaches many lessons and reveals many truths that the world should know. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not have been republished because, simply put, it is not a racist novel.
Students should learn about the value the novel provides from that time-period in which Mark Twain wrote, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain put the N word in the novel for a reason, to describe the time-period in which these events had occurred. Phillip Rawls writes, “‘It’s such a shame that one word should be a barrier between a marvelous reading experience and a lot of readers,’ Gribben said. Yet Twain was particular about his words.”
In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the racist attitudes of the Deep South in the late 1800's are shown. Mark Twain portrays a runaway slave, Jim, as a racist caricature who does whatever is asked of him and exhibits little intelligence. The reader can initially see this through the use of the word "nigger" that is all throughout the book. In the modern 21st century this term is taken offensively, but in the 19th century this term was commonly used and Twain took advantage of it.
The terror dealt at the hands of this novel is widespread. Students like Toni Morrison, picking it up as adolescents, innocent virgins to the horrors it contained, were shocked and shaken after reading it, instilled with “palpable alarm (Morrison 385).” The shame black students felt just by hearing their classmates snicker at the word “nigger” and the dread evoked by its appearance, is shameful and reveals Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’s dependent nature. It depends upon a teacher who can truly grasp and project the book onto their students. It depends upon students who are educated and mature enough to understand the book’s true meaning.