The Perverse American View
When a novel is banned from society, the government is removing any kind of learning, whether it may be corrupt or not, to be obtained from this book.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a beloved novel that teaches the life of Americans on the Mississippi River in a truthful form; not many writers have the courage to take a time period like the 1800’s in America and display them as they were lived like Twain endeavored.Although the novel was pounded upon when it was first published, it is still taught in many schools to expose the youth to American Realism and the masterpieces of American Literature.However, the allowance of Huck Finn to be taught in schools has caused much controversy in school districts because of its vulgar language and teachings.
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not be banned from school districts because it is revealing what life was really like on the Mississippi River for Caucasians and African Americans at the time.Many argue that this novel is inappropriate for teenagers to read in school and it is racist, but, children will never be able to understand the time period if they are never uncovered to it.Moreover, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a legitimate book that is worth keeping in schools for it teaches moral lessons and exposes our youth to the past. Back when the novel was first published in 1885, there was much controversy in whether it was suitable for the public.For example, Twain uses a dialect to describe the use of language along the river and for many libraries; it was not appealing for society to be nurtured with such language throughout a story.The novel was said to be categorized as “rough, course and inelegant, dealing with a series of experiences not elevating, the whole book being more suited to the slums that to intelligent, respectable people” (Boston Evening Transcript) written on March 17th, 1885.
When a novel uses slang term and wrong grammar, the skeptical eye figures it is a harmful book for society.The novel deals with harsh scenarios that also may provoke readers who do not truly understand the book.In addition, the book is considered a satire, the use of irony in a story, and it caused some arguments such as “the book is “absolutely immoral in its tone,” does not hesitate to declare that to him “it seems to contain but very little humor”” (The New York Herald) pointed out.Twain uses certain tones to portray humor since he stated in the beginning of the novel that it was written as a satire.The novel does contain some inappropriate language for young ears hence the reasoning behind the judgment made by The New York Herald on March 18th, 1885.
Although many people did find the novel pleasing, it was not worthy enough to be a praised American novel.Huck Finn was said to have “some humorous literature that is excellent and will hold its place, but his Huckleberry Finn appears to be singularly flat, stale and unprofitable” (Boston Evening Traveller) which concludes that it was considered humorous at times, but overall it was not an interesting book that drew attention.Many readers also suggested that the humor was very horrid in which it scared the readers.According to Life, “Concord Library Committee agrees with LIFE’s estimate of Mark Twain’s “blood-curdling humor.”This means that the humor basically made the reader jump during the passages because of its pot boiling context that through the readers over the edge.
On the other hand, when the novel was first introduced, there was much positive feedback made.For instance, many libraries understood Twain’s point in writing the novel and actually read the novel in depth as a satire.One example is that after Concord Public Library refused to hold Huckleberry Finn in their library, “people in Concord will buy the book instead of drawing it from the library, and those who do will smile not only at the book but at the idea that it is not for respectable people.”(Hartford Courtant)This exemplifies that many people did understand the meaning of the book and realized the mistakes of the libraries in banning it from their shelves.Also, there was a vast majority of the people who did not understand that there are many jokes in the story and it is not full of dangerous scenarios every chapter.According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “for the great body of readers [The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn] will furnish much hearty, wholesome laughter.
“This fortifies the statement that many readers understood Twain’s writing techniques and did not take every sentence critically.In addition, many readers misinterpreted the story in believing this was based off of a true story and that the story is obviously a satire with different examples of irony throughout it.As stated by Hartford Courant on April 4th, 1885, “Of course, “Huckleberry Finn” isn’t a true story.”This shows that many people believed that the story was actually true and basically misunderstood the entire book.Lastly, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn show a myriad of different adventures that display the time period.
The novel is said to be “an adventure fascinating in itself as any of the classic outlaw stories” ( Hartford Courant) which portrays that although it was banned, it contains a fascinating story that dives into the 1800’s truthfully.When the novel was first released in 1885, there was a lot of controversy including negative and positive feedback from society. In present day, many people still argue that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should still not be taught.For instance, many say that the language is not applicable for students to be reading in class especially since many times the teacher is reading it out loud to the entire class.”One nasty, offensive, mean-spirited little word should not be allowed to defeat the real education of our students” says Joan DelFattore in Huck Finn, Hostile? Hardly about the n-word, mentioned in the novel 219 times.Exemplifying inappropriate language in the novel, DelFattore understands that we must protect our youth from exposure to some of the terms associated with the time period of the 1800s.
Throughout the novel there are different portrayals of ideas that did happen in the time the book was written.According to Racism and Huckleberry Finn: Censorship, Dialogue, and Change, there is “critical judgments among competing ideas.”This proves that there is much controversy on the topics presented in the novel.In addition, many African Americans have trouble when the novel is read in class because they are very sensitive towards the topic and its issues. According toRacism and Huckleberry Finn: Censorship, Dialogue, and Change,”Black student and parent concerns during the teaching of Huckleberry Finn led to a decision to immediately remove the text from the classroom in the district’s two high schools.
“This exemplifies that there is a dangerous effect of the readings in school.It may cause disruption and a misreading of the text.Also, many parents are angry at the different points made throughout the book and the racial standpoint of them. According toCarey-Webb, Allen, and Marylee Hengstebeck in Racism and Huckleberry Finn: Censorship, Dialogue, and Change, “parents were angry with teachers, teachers felt threatened and misunderstood, administrators went in various directions but failed to follow policies already in place, and students were alienated from the school and from one another.”This portrays that it was not just the libraries back in the 1800’s that were furious with Twain’s teachings, but people now.On the contrary, the teachings of Twain though Huckleberry Finn have sculpted society today and so far, has not caused any detrimental damage.
According to Why Huckleberry Finn Is a Great World Novel written by Lauriat Lane Jr., the book “not only addresses the world in a language which is uniquely the language of that nation or people, but it brings before the view of the world at large many character types which are especially national.” This exemplifies that although the book exposes wrong grammar and spelling, it uses the dialect of the people and shows Americans that we did not speak in proper English as expected.Many readers believe that the novel is racist, but if they actually read the book in depth instead of skimming it, they would realize that it actually is quite the opposite.In A Rationale for Teaching Huckleberry Finn, it states that Huck “rejects the notion of people as property, recognizes the feelings of others, and learns to respond to the individual rather than the role.”(John M.
Kean)This fortifies the reasoning that Huck actually teaches the reader not to be racist and to view all as individuals and not to stereotype people.Besides being an American Novel teaching morals, Huck Finn teaches lessons to people around the world.Lauriat Lane writes in Why Huckleberry Finn Is a Great World Novel, “Huckleberry Finn is not just a great American Novel but also a literary work of international importance with universal themes and the structure of an epic.”This gives the point that a novel with many satires that are misread contains a lot more lessons that should be focused on rather than the disliked passages.Many people don’t realize that Huck Finn really isn’t about the harsh treatments of African Americans but in reality, it teaches individualism and exposes American Realism.Throughout reading the novel, “At the heart of Huckleberry Finn lies a story about real human figures with genuine moral and ethical problems and decisions, figures placed in a society which we recognize as having everywhere in it the flavor of authenticity—the whole combination treated, for the most part, as directly and realistically as possible.
” (Lauriat Lane)This gives the representation that when deeply reading the novel, Twain teaches the reader moral lessons that are timeless and don’t only refer to the 1800’s but forever. Throughout history, there were many rejected arguments that make absolutely no sense.Many argue ridiculous ideas that try to oppose Huckleberry Finn but they actually portray the negative feedback comprehended when one misreads the novel.For example, “the whole book is of a class that is more profitable for the slums than it is for respectable people, and it is trash of the veriest sort” which fortifies that many people don’t really dive into Twain’s novel and skim it.Society may believe that since this story uses poor language, it is a poor novel; this is not the case.
Twain uses dialect to express the time period and expose society to the past.While Huck and Jim travel along the Mississippi River together, Huck never really differs himself when he is one with nature, showing the ridicule of society.For instance, Huck says “I see Jim before me, all the time, the days and in the nighttime.” (Twain 249) This shows that Huck sees Jim all the time as an individual and isn’t fooled by society.When seeing Jim every day, Huck doesn’t notice the social standpoint and doesn’t treat Jim any differently than anyone else.
When Huck is not surrounded by society, he treats Jim like a normal person.When deciding whether to send Jim back to Miss Watson so he could go to heaven and be good, he says “all right, then, I’ll go to hell.”(Twain 250)This fortifies that society pushed slaves to be treated as property, not human beings.However, when Huck has the chance to not be an abolitionist and stay safe, he knows in his heart that Jim isn’t property and portrays a compassionate human.In the book, Twain portrays social conscience, similar to Huck’s deformed consciousness.
For example, Huck doesn’t want to sell Jim but since he has a deformed consciousness, he says “it was a close place.I took it up and held it in my hand,” (Twain 249) speaking of the note he would send Miss Watson telling her that he has Jim.The words of Huck’s mind exemplifies that he can’t depict his way of viewing things because he must decide on his senses.He is unsure to side with the racists against the slaves or stick with Jim and be an abolitionist, risking his life.Especially at his young age, it takes courage to stay with Jim. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is “one of the world’s great books and one of the central documents of American culture,” (Lionel Trilling) so why do so many people insist on banning it from society?The story itself teaches moral lessons that can apply to teachings from 1885 and on.
Many people don’t realize that banning one book can be detrimental to society, but a book with as many lessons as Huck Finn exposes cannot simply be removed from American Literature.Without a story like Twain’s novel, society today may never know what the real treatment of African Americans was like, not just according to history books but sourced from a legitimate writer from the time period.Yes, there were incidents where the novel caused disruption in schools, but, a story so truthful must be exposed to the public to open up filters never seen before.Huckleberry Finn teaches that everyone should be treated individually, whether they are in the 1800’s or present day.