The Controversy Over Huckleberry Finn
Huckleberry Finn is a novel written in 1884 by Mark Twain at the end of the American reconstruction era. During this time there blacks were still treated unequally, and a large amount of ignorance between the races was present. As a child Mark Twain often witnessed the harsh cruelty slaves had to endure and as he grew older began to empathize with them, and through those emotions he created this novel. He created a book from the view point of a young boy who was considered white trash at the time and kept true to the accents and phrases the different races used at the time. This included the word nigger which although today is considered extremely inappropriate, in the past it was a common term used by whites to label blacks. Using satire to show how absurd racism and prejudice was. Over a hundred years later this novel is still considered a classic, however, a controversy has arisen over the harsh language often used in the novel. In Cherry Hill, NJ at a local high school a large confrontation arose between the teachers and students over the novel Huckleberry Finn. Many students argued that the book was offensive and hurtful. Raquel Panton a student who was against the teaching of Huckleberry Finn stated, “I don’t go to school nine months out of the year to be put down and to be made feel bad.” The student’s main argument Huckleberry Finn was that they believed it was racist and that teachers should have been more aware of the impact such a book would have on the racially diverse students. To the black students especially, the novel was another frustrating instance where there was a lack of multicultural content in the district's curricula; with the support of their parents they decided it was time to act. It was a different story from the teacher’s point of view though. Teachers already knew that the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn had been shrouded in controversy from the beginning. When the novel was first published,...
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