The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Not for the Adolescent

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Mr. Jordan
AP English III
13 January 2013
Huckleberry Finn

For decades, Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” has spurred many controversies because of its offensive language, bad grammar, and racial bias. Some schools have even banned it from being taught; despite the benefits that one receives from it. When read to the right audience, one could learn from the harsh dialect, the use of satire, and the historical setting. However, because of the more advanced components of this book, “The Adventures of Huck Finn” should only be taught to high-school seniors in advanced English classes.

One of the most popular reasons as to why “The Adventures of Huck Finn” is banned in some schools is because of the use of offensive language such as the “n” word and other racist comments and actions, mostly when referring to Jim, the runaway slave. In an article written by Allen Webb, he states, “…it was clear that hearing the word come out of my mouth made my African American…students bristle.” Because of the book’s constant use of the term and other instances of racism such as when Huck takes advantage of Jim’s gullibility and lack of education, tricking him with a snake skin, and later tries to convince him that a series of dramatic events were a dream, which both confuses and upsets Jim, makes teaching the book very difficult, no matter how sensitive one will attempt to be. For this reason, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” should not be taught anywhere except in advanced senior English classes. As an advanced student, the level of maturity tends to be higher and the curriculum consists of a more broad and difficult selection, preparing the students for any style or type of writing. When hearing the use of a term such as the “n” word, most of these students will see it as a term to portray the time period and evoke strong emotions from the audience instead of taking it to offense. While the controversies that the offensive language stirs up are...
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