AP English 3
14 January 2013
Every year high school students across the United States have read the well-known classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain. Recently it has been questioned for whether it should or should not be required to be read in classrooms. Although The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has racism, many readers enjoy the history within it and because of this, Huckleberry Finn should remain on the required reading list for all high schools.
The biggest and possibly the only reason The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is being questioned is because of its racist view point. Many people argue that Twain himself did not like blacks and wrote the book to discriminate, but what they don’t know is what Allen Webb explains “the contibutors point out, Twains personal attitudes toward blacks were contradictory. His father and uncle owned slaves, yet his wife was the daughter of a prominent abolitionist. He fought briefly with the confederate army, yet later in life paid a black student’s way through Yale Law School”. Webb lets his readers know that Twain was neither for or against blacks, he just wrote what was common in what would be Huck Finns time. This explanation also allows us to understand that Twain was not purposely trying to offend African Americans. Webb also comments about one of his African American students, “in his opinion while a black teacher might be able to read Huckleberry Finn aloud, a white teacher, no matter how ‘sympathetic’, simply could not read the work without offending black students”, because of these types of situations, making any student uncomfortable the book is being questioned. Unlike Webb, whose students feel uncomfortable Nancy Methelis shares that “I generally tell my students at the beginning that (the ‘n’ word) is not going to be used in class because it could hurt people in the class” and by doing this she recieves a positive response from her class. In fact she tells us, “African American...
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