Given it's controverial nature, should The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn continue to be taught in schools? Write a persuasive letter to the school board.

Essay by mama_rulesHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 2002

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Downloaded 82 times

Dear School Board,

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a controversial novel which many schools seek to ban, while others want it to be taught. I, Siddharth Vyas, as a high school student of an international school, write this letter to you as a means of revealing the reality of this novel. As author of the book, Mark Twain underlies such themes as racism, slavery, and societal conflicts portrayed by the thoughts of a social outcast, namely Huck Finn. I strongly feel that this novel should be banned across the world, regardless of whom it is being taught to. In America, the reason supporting my view is quite clear: this work of Mark Twain is extremely offensive to African-Americans (and blacks in general), as it uses rude and aggravating racial language, while stirring up dismal feelings of the times when blacks were enslaved and treated inhumanely. However, even in international schools this book is not worth being taught.

The crude dialects and rather encouraging ideas of running away, defying rules of society, lying and stealing make The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a book "pitched in the key of a vulgar and abhorrent life," as described by the Boston Herald.

A lot of the controversy related to this book stems from African-Americans. The language used by Huck and other characters is undeniably offensive, especially the word 'nigger', which is used more than 200 times in the novel. Furthermore, the treatment of Jim and the attitudes of people towards him are also highly insulting. Huck, the supposed 'hero' of the novel, himself finds it difficult to say sorry to Jim, simply because he is black. The Duke and Dauphin, two other characters in the novel, treat Jim like property, waiting for the right time to cheat him and sell him off.