Huckleberry Finn Controversy

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Samuel Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain, is famous for being an American writer and the inventor of beloved characters such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Twain is well known for his politically charged, humorous writing along with his satire. Unlike his contemporaries of his time, Twain wrote in common language, forever capturing the American
South in the early 19th century (Bibliography of Mark Twain). Unfortunately, The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn is remembered more for its controversy rather than it being noted for the provocative issues. The controversy lies within its vernacular, more to the point, the use of the word “nigger,” which landed it on the ban list promptly after being released in 1885 (Concord
Library Ban). Like
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These controversial discussions that talk about racial issues and other rough topics is a path that can make the future a better place. “Writer David Bradley agrees. “We cannot avoid being hurt.
Language hurts people, reality hurts people. . . . If the word 'nigger ' did not have meaning today we wouldn 't care that it was in [Huck Finn] (PBS).” Perhaps, it is the knowledge of how
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Twain uses civil war era dialects throughout the novel which helps the reader jump into the past and see the world through Huck’s eyes “…perhaps his most famous work‚ Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)‚… by the way he attacked the institution of slavery‚ railed against the failures of Reconstruction and the continued poor treatment of African Americans in his own time (Bibliography of Mark Twain).” In the end, the reader might not agree with all or any of
Huck’s choices and actions but it does help give them a historical perspective. It is important to remember that it is told through the voice of a young boy trying to find his place in the world he lives in.
Some critics suggest that there is more to the novel than just telling the story of a boy;
“Huckleberry Finn is all about "born again" Americans, a democratic people who are constantly inventing and re-inventing themselves. A Mississippi River pilot named Samuel Clemens reconfigured himself as a writer named Mark Twain, and the rest is literary history (Canton).”
Perhaps, there is more to the story than meets the eye, if only we can get beyond the

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