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Huck Finn: Should It Be Taught In American Literature Mark Twain, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

1331 words - 6 pages

Huck Finn: Should it be taught in American Literature?Throughout the years, few books have been as highly debated and criticized as Mark Twain's 1885 novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The book's controversies are still heavily debated today. Many schools have gone as far as to ban this book from high school reading lists, despite its strong display of realism. However, this novel is a historical piece of literature and should not be banned from the classroom because its contents are merely a part of American History.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has not only been debated in recent years; it was also criticized when the book came out. The book was banned from the Concord Library ...view middle of the document...

At the Concord Public Library, a committee found the book "more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people." Many librarians claimed that Twain's characters were poor role models for children (Huckleberry 1). This was the earliest reason his book was shunned by the public.However, the very thing that turned so many away from the book, liberated many authors. "...all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn... All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since" -Ernest Hemingway (Zwick 1).Huck's story marked a turning point in American Literature. It began to break down the wall between the spoken language and written language. The year The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published marked the beginning of a new literary period known as Realism.The goal of the period of Realism (1855-1918) was to portray life as realistically as possible. Authors did this by using ordinary characters and events, such as Huck and his river adventures. Their writing included character's customs, dialect, and factual descriptions. One of the objectives in high schools today is to study the literature in this very period. Why, then, shouldn't The Adventures of Huckleberry be not only allowed but approved?That question brings on the next and latest controversy: racism. "No aspects of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are more controversial today than its depiction of race relations and Mark Twain's use of racist language" (Adventures 1). Huckleberry Finn was written after the Civil War; however, its setting is prior to the Civil War.Each person had their own nigger to wait on them- Buck too. My nigger had a monstrous easy time, because I warn't used to having anybody do anything for me, but Buck's was on the jump most of the time (Clements 109).This selection from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn shows the racist type language so many people squabble about today. At first glance at this insert, one would say these are racist comments and should not be allowed in schools. However, before the civil war this was common vocabulary and slavery was a common way of life. This way of speaking would be usual talk for a boy growing up in the shoes of Huckleberry Finn. This type of talk and treatment towards slaves is a part of American history. It cannot be changed.Since slavery was so popular during the setting of this book, it would be nearly...

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