The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Twain, Mark, and Peter Coveney. The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972. Print. II. Summary
The novel is about Huck a thirteen year old boy who goes through many unpleasant events like not being able to get away from his real father in a court case deciding if he may be adopted by another family. But instead the judge sentences him to stay with his father at a cabin. Huck goes to live with him but his father gets drunk quite frequently and beats Huck down. Eventually Huck decides to fake his death and runs away. While he runs away he finds a black slave man named Jim who must run away before being sold again. The two go off on an adventure to search for freedom for Jim. On the way the two deal with and encounter issues along the way but grow a special bond that keeps them together along the way. This book deals with race, religion, and morals. “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn't do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn't done that one if I'd a knowed it would make him feel that way.” This quote shows that Huck is racist towards a black man and thinks of himself higher than him but knows the rights and wrongs and still comes out with an apology. “ Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together.” This quote talks about how Huck is being told about what they do in heaven and he thinks it isn’t all too great like it’s perceived as. "The first light we see we'll land a hundred yards below it or above it, in a place where it's a good hiding-place for you and the skiff, and then I'll go and fix up some kind of a yarn, and get somebody to go for that gang and get them out of their scrape, so they can be hung when their time comes." This quote talks about how Huck feels about his father and how he should be punished. III. Appropriate Audience
The appropriate audience for this book and rationale is for the people against it and want it banned from schools. Those who are against the book may think that the grammar in Twain’s writing style in this book is absurd but Twain writes this novel like that to portray a southern thirteen year old kid back in the early 1800’s. But the language usage is believable of someone from that time period and including the schooling that he may have. This makes this book unique and realistic. Many people against this book pull up the topic of race that is mentioned throughout the book which is also an issue that has to deal with a boy helping a slave black man to freedom. This book deals with both history and language usage that students of all ages and all races should be able to look past the issues for learning.
IV. Appropriate Courses
This novel is appropriate for English and History classes. For history classes it works because of the time and race issues that revolve around this plot. It gives an image for how times and how people were like back then. It works for English classes because of its grammar and diction and how Twain uses it to show a realistic view of a southern kid. This book is good for both an AP class and APLAC due to the discussion topics that can be discussed and written about. The language fits the required high learning material of an AP class. For a history class it gives the illustration and the sound of the past. By that students can compare and contrast the differences and the similarities. V. Educational Objectives
A teacher could meet the objectives within this novel by having a classroom discussion with students and would be able to see the different views of each student. By that way you can see how everyone’s upcoming of life leads them to agree or disagree with one another on the race, religion, and morals. A teacher could also have a discussion or an essay on the reason why the author wrote the book and his purpose. Teachers will be able to analyze patterns and relationships of ideas, topics, or themes with students and let the student’s upbringings see if it changes their views or if their view on a theme stayed the same. VI. Meeting Objectives in the Classroom
Just like the previous teaching idea presented above, students may become different by acknowledging the freedoms and education presented within this country and schools. Students will gather knowledge about the past. The students will see how an author of that time wrote in his own style to serve his purpose of writing the novel. Students will see the grammar and the diction in this novel. This novel hits many objectives in the classroom whether it be for a history class or an English class, For example race back then wasn’t fair for everyone, excluding color people from the whites. Today that is different and every one of every color is equal now. VII. Student Oriented Results
The novel should not be banned because it shows America and the world that no human being is higher or below another human being. We need to worry or concentrate on the more important items on life instead. Like in the novel Huck and Jim ignore overall race and society issues to help each other both reach Jim’s freedom. The book has foul language and many English errors but it’s what gives the book the reality of it happening at a time when slaves where owned by white men. This book gives a description and imagery of how things were like at during a time before segregation. VIII. Problems or Possible Grounds for Challenging
People may find the race theme in this novel a potential problem. The word used for describing black African Americans during the time period presented within the story is the N word. This word is not acceptable in today’s language and this may be a reason why many feel it should be banned as a school book. In a school environment where students or children of parents go to be taught by teachers to become smarter or to learn about this world, parents could have an issue of their children learning the behaviors or the language involved within the book. IX. Overcoming Objections
To overcome these objections you can discuss to students before reading it that this is the language that was used to show disrespect towards an African American of that time period. The students need to show maturity especially for being an AP class book that they should be able to handle the language presented in this novel. It should not be banned because of that. People must overcome this and it must be taught to show the one of the greatest authors how he wrote. Not only does the book show how one of the greatest authors wrote at during a time that the book illustrates, but it gives a lesson that students need to apprehend and take in. Students and people of all ages need to take in that no one is greater or above anyone in this society. Racism has decreased in today’s world but it still exists today and students need to be able to look past everyone’s looks, skin color, wealth, religion, lifestyles, clothing and just need to view that everyone is equal in this world and the same. X. About the Author and Book
Following World War II is when The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written. Mark Twain wrote this novel to show the existence of slavery and virulent racial prejudice in a country dedicated to liberty and equality. America was unfamiliar with an African American black man and a white Caucasian boy bonding at the time and twain shows the moral authority that can come between them. Twain wrote the book at a time when ex-slaves were subjected to economic exploitation, disenfranchisement and racially motivated lynchings, and the last third of the novel is increasingly understood as a satire of the many betrayals and indignities African-Americans endured after the breakdown of Reconstruction. According to the source, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which proved to be very popular and brought him nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling. He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. (www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/timeline/twain.html)
XI. Additional Information
However, he lacked financial acumen. Though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he squandered it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers, however, he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to ensure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal responsibility. Born during a visit by Halley's Comet, he died on its return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature". When Twain first started writing Huckleberry Finn, he thought he was writing the sequel and another boy’s book of Tom Sawyer. But instead he realized that he was writing for the society of people who believe that they were higher and put themselves above another human being. XII. Works Cited
Alward, Mary, Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn: A History of Censorship for the Banned American Literature Classic Insightful Writers, Informed Readers Donahue, Jenn. "Book Banning: Censorship in the History of Literature." Associated Content Glencoe Literature Library Study Guide on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Fishkin, Shelly Fisher. “Teaching Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Emerson, Everett. Mark Twain: A Literary Life. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000. Hutchinson, Stuart, ed. Mark Twain: Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.
Leonard, James S., ed. Making Mark Twain Work in the Classroom. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.