Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Concession Essay Third Draft February 22, 2010 Moral Education through Literature The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn touches upon controversial racial issues that many people believe are not appropriate for young children. Understanding the novel’s satirical aspects requires a certain amount of intellectual maturity. Students below this level of aptitude may misconstrue the novel’s vulgar comments as racist, rather than an ironic portrayal of slavery. Some people feel that the elementary and secondary school students that read the book will only recognize the prominent issues of the novel and will overlook Mark Twain’s depiction that slavery is morally wrong. It is a fallacy that junior high students would be blind to Twain’s underlying references. The renowned literary work should be used as a way to educate students about the cruelty that occurred in our nation’s past. Confronting these deep racial issues could enlighten students and ease existing race relations. Huckleberry Finn should be read in schools prior to high school to familiarize students with important social issues.
Those that oppose Huckleberry Finn’s presence in elementary and secondary school curricula claim that its advanced material is not suitable for children of those ages. At this point, they argue, students have not matured enough to form their own views and are susceptible to negative influences. Reading Huckleberry Finn would expose students to acts of prejudice and belittlement of the black population. For example, the repeated use of the word “nigger” is disrespectful and students should not hear it used so frivolously. This word not only has a negative connotation, but it is a reminder of the inequality that once existed and alienates blacks. Furthermore, Jim, the black protagonist of the novel, is ridiculed and reduced to less than human by the novel’s conclusion. Jim’s character starts out as an enslaved black

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