Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

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Is Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Huck Finn) worthy of all its critical acclaim, or merely an offensive piece of garbage that should be rid of its status as a masterpiece of American Literature? While praise for the novel abounds, it once was rejected by many high-society circles and remains one of the most controversial books in America. The American Library Association deemed it number five on the list of "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999” (Powell). Despite this notorious publicity, Ernest Hemingway’s claim that Huck Finn is “the best book we’ve got” is defended by many literary scholars today. In fact, the majority of high schools require students to read the novel. These schools perceive the precious …show more content…
Twain exposes the absurdity of societal beliefs during the 40s through the various destinations and characters that Huck discovers along the Mississippi. It is crucial for Americans today to fully comprehend, without censorship, the harsh realities of the past in order to move forward. Huck Finn ensures that the historical outlook of this age will forever be preserved.
Twain’s extensive descriptions of society lead to a more serious issue. They beg the reader to ask if all men are truly equal. In fact, no clear-cut stance on race and racism can be determined from Huck Finn (Themes). This adds to the debate against teaching the novel to students. Even story’s end, Huck’s level of respect for slaves is tremendously higher than that of any person in his society. However, he still holds severe prejudices towards them. This is clearly evident when he says, “I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n. It don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so” (Twain 142). The constant presence of prejudice causes many objections to the novel being taught in high schools. Parents and teachers fear that it will promote a negative image of African Americans and encourage the use of racial slurs. On the other hand, Jocelyn Chadwick believes that Huck Finn can have the opposite effect. She believes “sometimes we need something provocative because it will spark conversation” (Powell). When taught correctly, this story can

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