Huck Finn in Education

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Grace Wang
Mr. Shimazaki
Am Lit
12/18/12
Huck Finn in Education
For education to serve its purpose of helping students develop an understanding of themselves and the world around them, it must provide uncensored information and ideas. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn undoubtedly supports that goal of education. The classic novel discusses issues regarding society’s greed and cowardice through a young boy’s, Huck Finn, perspective. Huck Finn is born into the American, white south during the mid 1800s when slavery and racism towards blacks was the norm. He is influenced by his surroundings to believe that slavery is right. The “civilized” adults dictate to him the nature of blacks as property. However, as a rebellious adolescent, Huck runs away from his home and journeys down the Mississippi river with a black slave named Jim. Across this adventure, Huck develops a different set of morals from his culture and slowly comes to view Jim as a person and a friend. America’s past white, southern culture is a testament to the gruesome reality of society’s ability to institutionalize its selfish nature. Mark Twain emphasizes in a genuine manner the ignorance of America’s slave-holding past and the importance of questioning the morals of society and as such, the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is worthy of belonging in compulsory education. Unlike many other novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn delivers an unromanticized depiction of the racist, white south and slavery in the early part of American history. As seen through his characters, Mark Twain is not afraid to show the true nature of racism present in the 1800s. One of the most unsympathetic characters in the book is Pap, Huck Finn’s drunkard and abusive father. Pap’s dialogue contains the image of the thoughts of the average racist southern man in America during that era. In one instance, Pap says: "Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful. Why, looky here. There was a...
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