Huck Finn: Should it be taught in American Literature Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Essay by russlongHigh School, 11th grade April 2004

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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 the very year of its publication (Zwick 1). The primary debate dealt with the language, or dialect, the book was written in. Because Twain elected to tell the story in Huck's own words, the dialect was that of an illiterate village boy, raised by the town drunkard (Matthews 2).

Huck's comments are his own rude, ignorant, sharp comments and not the comments of an intellectual writer.

They was fetching a very nice-looking old gentleman along, and a nice-looking younger one, with his right arm in a sling. And, my souls, how the people yelled and laughed, and kept it up. But I didn't see no joke about it, and I judged it would strain the duke and the king some to see any (Clements 192).

While some marveled at Mark Twain's accuracy of portraying Huck's character and speech, others did not like or accept it. People were accustomed to the writing form of an upper class dialect. When Twain decided to write about the life and adventures of a character such as Huck, he knew it could not be done through...