The Controversy over the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

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U.S. novelist and Nobel Prize for Literature winner Ernest Hemingway once said, “All modern American literature comes form one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn...It’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since” (Vickers 49). However, is this really what people think about Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn today? The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is on the list of the top ten censored books. (TIME) Many people think that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a racist novel. It is banned in countless schools because of its racial content. Many people think that Twain is condoning slavery. On the contrary, Twain is actually showing the evils of slavery through this novel. There are things one must consider before categorizing this work as a racist novel. One must consider the novel’s time period and culture, the friendship that Jim and Huck share, and Huck’s view of slavery before assuming that this is a racist novel. The question of whether or not this novel should be taught in schools depends on the age of the group, how well they have been educated about the subject, and who is teaching them. After looking at the culture and time period in which it was written, Huck and Jim’s friendship, and Huck (and Twain’s) view of slavery, one will be able to see that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not a racist novel and should not be banned in schools today. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck Finn is a young boy raised in the South who is contemplating whether to follow the law or to do the morally right thing. Huck is raised by, “righteous Christians,” Widow Douglas and Mrs. Watson, who has a slave named Jim. After escaping from his crazy father and arriving at Jackson’s Island, Huck finds Jim, who has run away from Mrs. Watson. This novel

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