Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Offensive Language in Literature

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It is a controversial topic as to whether or not the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain should be taught in our school systems. When trying to teach the book, many schools have had difficulty because of the language being offensive in todays society. Some claim that the story should be banned from schools because it is racist, grotesque, and scaring to the youth who read it.

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In reality, the book is actually a tool that can help inform the youth as to what racism was like between the 1830s -1840s. The book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a significant part of Americas history and should be taught in schools. The story of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was published on December 10, 1884. Only a month after its publication, A Concord, Massachusetts library banned the book. They also made several statements about its narrative voice being coarse and ignorant.

This caused other libraries to follow in banning the book and commenting on its inadequacy. In 1998, a parent from Arizona sued her school district for requiring the students to read the book. She claimed that racial tension in the school became far worse after the book was read. Later in 2011, a professor at the University of Virginia named Stephen Railton, published a version of the book without using the n-word. Instead it was replaced with the word slave. The title of the altered book was called The Hipster Huckleberry Finn. In the description of the book it says the adventures of Huckleberry Finn are now neither offensive nor uncool Stephen Railton.

In response to the banning of his book Mark Twain wrote I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn for adults exclusively, & it always distressed me when I find that boys and girls have been allowed access to them… I wish I could say a softening word or two in defence of Huck’s character, since you wish it, but really in my opinion it is no better than God’s, & the rest of the sacred brotherhood. Mark Twain did not intend for his book to be The main argument against the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn being taught in schools is that it is racist, grotesque, and scaring to the youth who read it. Many of its readers suggested that the use of the n-word was derogatory, offensive, degrading and just horribly inappropriate. The book exhibits in precise detail what everyday life was like in the North and South from the perspective of Huck and Finn. The fact is, this book is a realistic perspective of what our history was like. Just because we had slavery, racism, and brutality in our past, doesnt mean that it isnt crucial to teach in schools.

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