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

Essay by shelly24College, UndergraduateA+, February 2006

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"Recommended" Not "Required"

Since its publication in 1885, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is one of Mark Twain's most loved, most influential, and most controversial books of all time. The number one reason why the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is controversial is because of the racism throughout the book. The constant use of the word "nigger" and the strong presence of slavery have thrown people into an uproar ever since it was published. The controversy even reaches high school education, where many juniors are required to read the novel during their junior year. This requirement raises many questions about the value of the novel. One question is whether or not the novel should be a required reading for high school students. The answer is two-faced, because there are some questionable themes and word choice, but on the other hand, if the material is presented in a mature way, with a discussion about the, questionable, racial material, Huck Finn really can be, and is, one of the greatest literary works of all time.

Ernest Hemmingway said, "all great American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn," and John Wallace counters that it's "racist" and "trash". One of the arguments Wallace makes against the book is that because of the repeated use of the word "nigger" throughout the novel, students of African descent and African-Americans feel offended and abused by the novel. Wallace professes that no student should ever feel that he or she is being discriminated against in the classroom and that whether or not Twain meant it to be so, his novel is racially offensive. He proclaims that derogatory terms are unacceptable in any context, even in great works of literature (Wallace). While I agree with Wallace in his opinion that no student should ever feel threatened in their place...