Keep It in Classrooms

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When it comes to the topic of discussing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in schools, most of us will agree that the interactions between whites and blacks in the book cause many controversies. Where the agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of whether Huckleberry Finn should be completely banned in schools. Whereas some people believe that keeping the book in school systems and developing a new curriculum solve the problem better, other people maintain that all schools must ban the book. The controversy over race, shown in Huckleberry Finn, takes place when Huck uses the “n-word” casually to talk about all blacks that he knows including Jim. The controversy over racism, also shown when the king, duke, and Huck go into a town and leave Jim and paint him blue so he looks ridiculous, may be argued because the king, duke, and Huck seem not to care about what they put Jim through. Some believe that when Jim stays at the Phelpses’ plantation in a cottage with many live animals, Mark Twain uses prejudices against blacks meaning they do not have many characteristics of humans because Jim live in a cottage and he cannot think for himself because Huck thinks for him. When my class started reading Huckleberry Finn, having an introduction to the book helped while we tried to understand how Twain writes. We discussed racism in our classroom which made me learn more from the class altogether. Although I grant that reading Huckleberry Finn may cause controversy and some discomfort, I still maintain that students should carefully read Huckleberry Finn with extra discussion and introduction about Twain’s background, style of writing, and ideas about racism. I believe that though Twain starts out the novel with some racist comments, by the end of the novel Twain proves to the audience that he is not racist. Franek and NiiLampti disagree with me in their article “Shoot the Author, Not the Reader” thinking that Twain never stops his racist comments and...
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