Huck Finn Essay

Submitted By adelliga
Words: 1119
Pages: 5

Anna Delligatti
Mr. Eaton
Comprehensive English
11/21/14
Born To Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Throughout the history of the United States, racism has been a reoccurring issue. In the book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the issue of slavery is present, due to the book being based in the time period of pre-civil war. This book has been found to be offensive to a rather large amount of the black population who has read the book. In the film Born to Trouble produced by PBS, it shows the effect it has on some of the students in a high school, and what they had to go through while reading it. The film Born to Trouble also shows the side of writers, and scholars and what their opinion of the book is. During this film two sides were taken, the people for Huckleberry Finn, and the people against it. The film portrays the scholars and professional writers as the side that has the better argument using evidence of logos, ethos, and pathos. Raquel Panton, a high school student, was completely outraged when she started reading the book that used the word “n*****” 219 times. Raquel stated that she does “not go to school to spend that much time of my life to be demeaned, disrespected, or felt to be any less than anyone else” (BTT). This is an example of how pathos was used to try to persuade the audience to feel sympathy towards the students, and the black population who is being forced to read this book by their high school. Raquel thought that the book should be removed from the school curriculum, because of the controversy. Kathy Montiero, Raquel’s mother, attended assembly’s that the school was hosting to try to explain the context of Huckleberry Finn and the real meaning behind it. Kathy was asked to leave at the second assembly due to a disturbance she started at the first, and when she refused to leave, the cops were called and Kathy was arrested. Kathy was arguing that her daughter was not being treated the same as every other student because instead of being in the classroom discussing the book, she would go to the library and work on other assignments. Kathy also made the argument that the book should not be required for kids in school to read, that if they find it offensive, they shouldn’t have to be put through the torture of reading it every day. Born to Trouble provides an argument with ethos by using many professional writers and scholars. David Bradley, a writer talks about how teachers need to learn how to approach, and teach the books, rather than just expecting the kids to absorb everything handed to them. The teachers need to break down the book, what it’s going to be like, and teach that the racism in the book has much more of a deeper meaning. David Bradley also said that “you can’t arbitrarily say that this book is trouble and we’re not going to teach it, because a book like Huckleberry Finn is part of American literature” (BTT). This piece of American literature is much more than what the controversy makes it out to be. High school teacher Nancy Methelis teaches her students in a way that they can connect to the book. She asks her class how they feel when they read it, and how they’re different from Huck, Jim, and the life style they live. One of Nancy Methelis’ students is a young black female who has a very open perspective on the book, she states that “when I was first reading the book I started underlining how many times they used the word n***** on a page…and I used to get upset, but then it didn’t bother me…because that’s what was used to describe people back then” (BTT). The students started to realize the time period the book was written in, and the language the people of the pre-civil war times would use. Another young, black female student said “as you read the book you realize without the word, the book would mean nothing. I think that if you actually read the book you can get by all the vocabulary words and enjoy it” (BTT). These two students are examples of how the…