Huckleberry Finn Analysis

Words: 1296
Pages: 6

“The most grotesque example of racist trash ever written”, “the best book we’ve ever had”, and “our greatest book” (Howard). These are examples of the many reviews written about Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. The N-word is seen on the book’s pages over 200 times, putting the tale of self-discovery and friendship on more than one banned book list. The narrator, a twelve year old boy by the name of Huck, takes the reader through his adventures of escaping his uptight caretakers as he travels the Mississippi river with Jim, a runaway slave. The pair face dangers and racists who, because it was the 1850’s, use the N-word as part of their everyday language. The debate that’s been going on since the 60’s has reached almost every high school classroom …show more content…
Though students learn about slavery starting in elementary school, they don't fully focus on the culture and the slang of the time. People hear the N-word all the time, whether it’s at school or in music, but when it comes to the slur being in a book, people become uncomfortable. The reality is, only a small portion of the people who read Huckleberry Finn are offended by it, most people realize that reading the book is a learning opportunity, but others still perceive it as promoting racism. Students need to have the right to an opinion, and banning the book doesn’t give them that, “...whether or not the the students agreed with what those authors had to say, the fact that their books were banned would, ideally, force students to develop an opinion about the significance of the works and their place in the canon and in the classroom” (Howard). Southard, explains why Huckleberry Finn is still relevant today, “With events like the recent racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Mark Twain's home state, it’s obvious that we still need The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (WKAR). High school students, which is the target audience of Twain’s book, are aware of the racial disputes going on around the world, so it makes sense that when they read this book they learn about the