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Huck Finn Debated The Controversy Surrounding the Novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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Presentation on theme: "Huck Finn Debated The Controversy Surrounding the Novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."— Presentation transcript:

1 Huck Finn Debated The Controversy Surrounding the Novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

2 Huck Finn Debated Why is the teaching and reading of Huck Finn so controversial? Why is the teaching and reading of Huck Finn so controversial? How have the criticisms about the book changed over the years? How have the criticisms about the book changed over the years?

3 Huck Finn Debated Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were excluded from schools and public libraries. Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were excluded from schools and public libraries. Huckleberry Finn has been dropped from high school reading lists due to alleged racism. Huckleberry Finn has been dropped from high school reading lists due to alleged racism. Recent objections have often concerned the use of the “n-word,” a word that has also gotten Uncle Tom’s Cabin challenged in similar ways. Recent objections have often concerned the use of the “n-word,” a word that has also gotten Uncle Tom’s Cabin challenged in similar ways.

4 Huck Finn Controversy Racist content Racist content Use of “the n-word” Use of “the n-word” Jim’s character: his dialect, subservience and superstitious attitude portray him as stupid Jim’s character: his dialect, subservience and superstitious attitude portray him as stupid “White” society: the white people in the book take advantage of the black people “White” society: the white people in the book take advantage of the black people

5 Huck Finn Controversy Violent content Violent content Crude, offensive behavior of characters Crude, offensive behavior of characters Young and ignorant narrator/protagonist Young and ignorant narrator/protagonist Derogatory language and stereotypes Derogatory language and stereotypes

6 Defense of Huck Finn First Amendment Rights violation First Amendment Rights violation Serves as social commentary that calls attention to the issues surrounding racism Serves as social commentary that calls attention to the issues surrounding racism Violence is mild in comparison to content in books, films, and television today Violence is mild in comparison to content in books, films, and television today Derogatory language is necessary in order to accurately reflect its time period Derogatory language is necessary in order to accurately reflect its time period

7 Controversy Through the Years During the time when the book was first published, it met controversy. Huckleberry Finn was not a good role model for children because he swore, didn’t speak well, and renounced religion. The book was disliked a lot by the critics, and even banned from the Concord Library. Even with this and the fact that educated people could not relate to Huck, the book sold very well and was liked by the readers. During the time when the book was first published, it met controversy. Huckleberry Finn was not a good role model for children because he swore, didn’t speak well, and renounced religion. The book was disliked a lot by the critics, and even banned from the Concord Library. Even with this and the fact that educated people could not relate to Huck, the book sold very well and was liked by the readers. Cited from: Cited from: ew.html ew.html

8 Controversy Through the Years People started to realize what a literary masterpiece the book was. Helped along by rave reviews from Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Eliot and other influential authors, the public recognized that Twain had revolutionized American literature by writing through a young, ignorant narrator and writing like his narrator and other characters would talk. People started to realize what a literary masterpiece the book was. Helped along by rave reviews from Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Eliot and other influential authors, the public recognized that Twain had revolutionized American literature by writing through a young, ignorant narrator and writing like his narrator and other characters would talk.

9 Controversy Through the Years During the Civil Rights Movement, people began to realize how blatantly Twain addressed the issue of race in Huck Finn. Because the book was so realistic, it had derogatory language and dealt with issues that were happening during the period. The people often did not look further into the book, nor see that Twain was satirizing the feelings and not expressing them. During the Civil Rights Movement, people began to realize how blatantly Twain addressed the issue of race in Huck Finn. Because the book was so realistic, it had derogatory language and dealt with issues that were happening during the period. The people often did not look further into the book, nor see that Twain was satirizing the feelings and not expressing them.

10 Controversy Through the Years Present Present Now, it is mostly taught in schools, but with care taken to examine and explain the issues of racism in the book. There is still some controversy, however, because many people think a different book, one not so offensive, could be used in place of Huck Finn, perhaps even one that brings up the same issues of race. Now, it is mostly taught in schools, but with care taken to examine and explain the issues of racism in the book. There is still some controversy, however, because many people think a different book, one not so offensive, could be used in place of Huck Finn, perhaps even one that brings up the same issues of race.

11 Huck Finn Controversy How does knowing about the history of the controversy make you feel about reading the book? How does knowing about the history of the controversy make you feel about reading the book? Under what circumstances, if any, do you think a book should be taken off a school's reading list and/or out of its library? Under what circumstances, if any, do you think a book should be taken off a school's reading list and/or out of its library?

12 “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” ~Mark Twain ~Mark Twain


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