The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and It’s Worth in American High Schools

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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. – Mark Twain.

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This quote by Mark Twain himself holds a lot of symbolism for his book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, because they both encourage people to open up their minds as opposed to keeping the same thoughts their whole lives and even passing those thoughts down to their children. Some individuals may believe that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not be taught because they believe the language to be insensitive. However, because the powers of ignorance and intellectual and ethical challenges that Twain brings up in the novel are crucial to the education of current American high school students, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should continue to be immersed in the young minds of Americas adolescents.

Initially, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn encourages people to open up their minds. In the article Fight Over Huck Finn Continues: Ed School Professor Wages Battle for Twain Classic Professor Jocelyn Chadwick argues in favor of Huckleberry Finn. She states that, Sometimes we need something provocative because it will spark conversation. (Powell 2) By this she means that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will start important discussions about sensitive topics that make people think. Without new thoughts, the human race would be stuck in an unpoppable bubble. In the comic White washed, by Matt Bors, Bors illustrates many novels all with a common theme: controversy. The cover of a classic novel, Lolita was shown with the caption of A slight revision, shes 18!. (Bors) This refers to the controversy around Lolitas age. This is similar to the idea of language revision in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because of the difference it makes to the point of the book. Sadly, some people, like the Pennsylvania chapter of the NAACP believe that the book should be removed from required reading lists in both high schools, and colleges noting that, What the NAACP has done is take up a posture that the book as written is not good for America. (Powell 2) This, however, could actually be damaging in itself. Chadwick remarks, Twain did not write a novel thats meant to make you feel good. (Powell 2) Chadwick touches again upon the point of the novel. During an NPR call, a caller (only referred to simply as James), comments, Is this still Mark Twain? …And I think my first impulse was exactly correct, this is not Mark Twain. (Conan 2) His response is shared by many others. He shares it because he wants people to know that Professor Gribben (the guest on the show at the time) was attempting to shield people from these important conversation starters about race in America.

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