Academic English II
8 May 2009
Powell, Alvin. "Fight over Huck Finn continues: Ed School Professor Wages Battle for Twain
Classic." The Harvard University Gazette 28 Sept. 2000. 19 Apr. 2009 <http://www.hno.
The article "Fight over Huck Finn continues: Ed School Professor Wages Battle for Twain Classic", by Alvin Powell discusses whether Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be taught to high school students today. According to Jacelyn Chadwick "… much of which focuses on the repeated use of racial slur virtually everyone in 'Huckleberry Finn'"(Powell 1). In this article the issue of profanity and racial slurs are discussed and Powell relates profanity to modern times. Race issues are a touchy subject in society today and that is why people are against Huck Finn. Also Charles Stokes said in the article "the n-word is spoken there a number of times"(3). Powell discusses how the n-word could potentially be offensive to black children reading the novel. He states people need to understand the events that took place from the 1870's to the 1880's. The issue of whether Huck Finn should be taught to high school students still exist today.
Alvin Powell along with many other literary critics believe that Mark Twain had the intentions of being racist. Other teachers in the article believe that if the novel is taught the right way, it should remain in the curriculum. There is no reason why Huck Finn should be taken off the shelves if English teachers teach it the right way. In the book Twain uses profanity because he was trying to give the effect of the dialect that was used back in the time period when slavery existed. Huck Finn shouldn't be banned from High School curriculums if students understand why Twain uses the dialect for a certain reason. It is understandable that the "n"-word could be offensive but when slavery existed that was the name that people referred to slaves...
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