This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Controversy Of Huck Finn: Reasons As To Why Huck Finn Should And Should Not Be Taught In Schools

1276 words - 5 pages

Since its publication, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, has been challenged for a variety of reasons. Many schools have struggled in attempting to teach the book and several aspects of the novel seem inappropriate. For instance, some may agree that the use of the racial slur, nigger, Huck’s rebellion against religion, and the inaccurate portrayal of the South are all reasons why the book should not be taught. There is also the issue of racial tension; the book may be hard to teach in certain environments, particularly the South. I do acknowledge these points, however, we must face our past to conquer our fears, despite the great difficulty. If the book is taught properly, and is experienced and not simply read, then the book is truly understood.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the most banned books in American history; most of the people who want to ban the book simply have not read it or don’t understand the message behind it. One of the arguments against the book is the almost excessive use of the racial slur, nigger, which is written 212 times. Many readers, particularly African-Americans, take offense to this and label Huck Finn a racist book. However, we must remember that this book takes place in the south twenty years before the Civil War; it would be unrealistic if the slur weren’t used. At the time, the word nigger, which is used merely as a synonym for slave, was appropriate for the setting the time.Another issue is that the slur could create racial tension, especially if it was read aloud. Many students may feel insulted, especially if they are African-American. If the book is taught in an environment where African-Americans are the minority, they may feel singled out. However, if African-Americans are the majority, they may feel more comfortable with the use of the word. I would also imagine that a white teacher would be much more hesitant to say nigger than a black teacher regardless of the students ethnicity in the class. Depending on the demographics of the student population, this book could be hard to teach in certain environments.However, these problems can be avoided if the book is taught correctly. For instance, when Huck explains to Aunt Sally that there was an explosion on the steamboat, she asks, “Good gracious! anybody hurt?” Huck explains, “No'm. Killed a nigger." Then Aunt Sally replies, "Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.” Twain’s casual use of the word nigger in this scene helps accurately portray the way the South felt about African-Americans; they did not consider them to be people. If this dialogue were read literally, it would present a very different idea and some could even confuse Twain as a racist. The issue of the word nigger can be avoided if the book is not read literally, but rather, figuratively.Another argument against the novel is that Huck does not serve as a good role model. In many instances, Huck breaks...

Find Another Essay On The Controversy of Huck Finn: Reasons as to why Huck Finn should and should not be taught in schools

Should "Huckleberry Finn" be taught in High Schools?

2340 words - 9 pages Jim's honorable qualities is what should be focused on rather than the stereotypes he uses to bring out that humanity. The fact that Jim is constantly referred to as "nigger" does not in any way detract from the fact that he has deep paternal characteristics.Next, Jim is represented as a selfless person, capable of having the same feelings as all humans. He proves himself no different than anyone else in the eyes of Huck when it comes to basic human

Huck Finn: "Recommended" Not "Required", Controversey of Huck Finn

1704 words - 7 pages book. By letting high school students read this novel, it is not giving them the idea of the word nigger being accepted, but showing how cruel and small-minded out society can be, and how much racism affected the day.In 1995, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, a large controversy started, when several African American high school students complained to their parents about having to read Huck Finn in class because of the uses of the word "nigger." In

Huck Finn

913 words - 4 pages off a family saying that they are the relatives that are written in a will to inherit an estate and a fortune. Huck realizing the men are going to steal from the family. Secretly hides the money in the coffin so the two men will not be able to find it. "the only place I see to hide the bag was in the coffin."(210) As one can see, Huck displays his keen ability to take command of a situation. Huck Finn exemplifies the meaning of a bold swimmer

Huck Finn

946 words - 4 pages , was Mark Twain’s use of the underlying theme of racism. In this story, I found myself admiring Huck’s innocent approach to slavery, and the treatment of slaves. Is Huck Finn a racist? Now this is a tough question. I would be tempted to say no. He always treats his run away slave-partner Jim equally. Never in this book once did he treat a black any different then he would have treated any white in the same situation. Whether or not

Huck Finn as the Narrator in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn

767 words - 3 pages Mark Twain chose Huck Finn to be the narrator to make the story more realistic and so that Mark Twain could get the reader to examine their own attitudes and beliefs by comparing themselves to Huck, a simple uneducated character.Twain was limited in expressing his thoughts by the fact that Huck Finn is a living, breathing person who is telling the story. Since the book is written in first person, Twain had to put himself in the place of a

Why The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not be banned

846 words - 3 pages as a sign of how much we have evolved(Dawkins 1). It is wrong to ignore the past simply because we don't know how to explain it. A large part of moving forward in the world depends on addressing problems and difficult situations. People have been reading "Huck Finn" and "Tom Sawyer for over a century and it has not stopped us from evolving and moving past slavery and racism for the most part. Why should we all of a sudden change Twain's book now

Huck FInn

1331 words - 6 pages Michiko Kakutani on the new edition doing “disservice to a classic) I really believe that this would in fact shut out all honesty about the world. On the other hand, the author of one article believes that tampering with an author’s writing indicates that the editor possesses “extraordinary hubris and a cavalier attitude,” and the original author should be praised for his real courage. Some of the major reasons not to censor Huck

Huck Finn

939 words - 4 pages from readers since the novel was first printed. However, the story has inspired some. James W. Tuttleton says in an article he wrote that “Huck Finn is regularly denounced as racist trash” (The San Francisco Chronicle [1885] 6) . Yet, again to oppose that is a quote by a reader, “Anyone who is offended by this book is obviously ignorant of the true purpose of this book (which does not show slavery to be right, I might add) and perhaps should find

Huck Finn

1557 words - 6 pages : Morrow). However, as readers mature and become older, they read the book through enlightened eyes. They begin to understand the trials and moral struggles that this young boy undergoes in resisting society, struggles that no adult would relish. This paper delves into how Huck Finn rejects the accepted moral values and social mores of his society. Huck’s independence and freethinking are marvels in a conformist’s culture. By itself, the fact that

Huck Finn - 2498 words

2498 words - 10 pages that it is best for Jim to be free. He is constantly wondering if he is right, and that freeing Jim was actually a good thing, or if society is right, and Huck should turn Jim in. Finally, he decides to not care about "morality," and simply be "bad;" his own sense of right and wrong is stronger. Symbolism: The Mississippi River      -The Mississippi River, in “Huckleberry Finn” is served as a getaway

Huck Finn - 825 words

825 words - 3 pages countryside. Miss Watson owns slaves, including Jim, so that no matter where he goes, the idea of blacks as slaves is reinforced. The story takes place during the 1840's, at a time when racial tensions were on the rise, as northern abolitionists tried to stir up trouble in the South. This prompted a backlash from Southerners, which entrenched the institution more than ever. Huck Finn could not be against slavery, because if he were, he would be a

Similar Essays

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

Huck Finn: To Be Or Not To Be? Is The Book Racist And Should It Be Thought In Schools?

872 words - 3 pages when Huck says that Mary should not tell the town about the frauds (Duke and King), not because of him but because "there'd be another person that you don't know about who'd be in big trouble"(236). It is obvious that Huck is talking about Jim , his friend and fellow escapee.There is much importance given to the character of Jim and the subject of slavery , and sometimes it overshadows some other aspects. Many people argue about the insults and

Should Huck Finn Be Taught In The Classroom? Twain Was Not A Racist; He Was Simply Exposing Racism In His Novel, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

726 words - 3 pages What would be the reaction of parents if school administrations decided that the Civil War would not be taught because it was fought over slavery, among several other reasons? Would they also stand by and allow the Mexican War to be ignored because slavery would be allowed in the new territories? If these objections were heeded, then our schools would also be forced to eliminate American history courses completely. When studying our nation?s

The Adventure Of Huckleberry Finn By Makr Twain Why The Book Should Be Taught In Public Schools

579 words - 2 pages As of today cigarettes are not sold to minors, but that doesn't mean minors don't smoke them. Making laws or rules about something doesn't always get ride of the problem. Reading the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a topic many school boards cannot agree upon. Some say it leads to racial harassment and some say it makes people feel inferior. However banning the book may not solve the problems. Huck Finn should be taught