Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Culture Shock: Born to Trouble Response

Although many view The Adventures of Huck Finn as a classic, ultimately, I believe that schools should not be required to teach it. Not only is the n-word used over 200 times in the novel, the word is still discriminating against black Americans in our society. According to Kathy Monteiro, most parents want their children to be free from degradation. However, when a book frequently uses the n-word, many students are likely to feel inferior and hurt from such an offensive word. Monteiro also suggests that instead of having Huck Finn required as part of an English curriculum, it can be made optional to avoid controversy. In another way, many feel as if Mark Twain was being racist when writing this novel. Although Twain had originally intended this novel to exemplify realism, the persistent use of the n-word proves inappropriate in a school setting. Literary scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin explained how many parents thought the n-word suggested Mark Twain was racist, also making Huck Finn a racist novel. Moreover, not only does the n-word appear a great number of times, the movie also mentioned how parents were worried Huck would be a threat to their children's morals. Students may interpret Huck's behavior as okay and may believe that it's okay to be "blasphemous." For this reason, despite it being a national epic, Huck Finn should not be required to be taught in schools because of the potential threat it provides to many students, especially blacks.

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