The Huckleberry Finn Controversy Essay

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In the long controversy that has been The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn’s history, the novel has not only been censored and criticized, but also banned for an array of perceived failings. The work has been accused of everything from bad language to low moral tone to racism. However, Mark Twain, the author, wrote this narrative not to discriminate, but to deject slavery and criticize southern white culture. He purposefully created a realistic setting for the story in order to further its impact. The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn is not racist and should not be banned from any American Literature curriculum. The seemingly offensive use of the word, “nigger”, is essential to maintaining the authenticity of the atmosphere of the novel. Mark Twain, being a writer of the realism era, recognized the need to use regional dialect of the Deep South in the dialog. In a society that was currently dominated by the white race and the old confederate ways of slavery and cruelty to the African Americans, the word was both acceptable and commonly used. To exclude words, or actions that were true of that time just to save the delicate sensibilities of our society today, will transform this literary masterpiece into nothing more than a romanticized adventure tale. It will also undermine the real purpose for which The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn was written: as a satire on the general population of his era and location. The people being degraded in this novel are not the African Americans but the southern white society as a whole. Huck, the main character, is exposed to many of civilization’s hypocritical and cruel principles. Along his journey, Huck encounters bandits, liars, con men, and despicable people in general—if not corrupted, then terribly ignorant. In one instance, the con men pretended to be the relatives of a recently deceased man, and scammed the sisters to receive
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