Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Should Huck Finn be taught?
I believe that although this book has many controversial views, it is a classic that should be allowed to be taught in schools. As Kathy Monteiro states, the contant use of the n-word feels degrading and hurtful to her and her family. While this is true, it should be taken into consideration that today, African Americans use that word commonly with each other, while our society has become more conscious on using that word towards people. If the main reason for an otherwise great book to not be taught in schools is because of the use of bad language throughout the novel, Kathy Monteiro should consider homeschooling. If anyone takes the time to listen to Fremd's hallways during the 5 minute passing period, anyone would realize that our language and how we speak to each other is way worse than one word in the book. And while the n-word is still hurtful for African Americans today, they should understand that this book was written over a hundred years ago and back then, the word was more commonly used than it is now. When it was published, the book was not meant to spark racial controversy and shouldn't be overanalyzed by people trying to find faults in good literature. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I know there are many books that degrade women as well. And even though I can find these demanign and hurtful, I take into consideration the time period that it was written, and realize how far our society has come today, As everyone should when they read Huckleberry Finn. This book is also meant to be satirical, according to David Bradley, and anyone who takes this book literally has not found the true message and moral to the book, which is the pointlessness of racism. Huck learns to see Jim in a different way, and I believe that rather than creating stereotypes, this book helps break them. This book shows the realities of life back then, and schools can't be expected to teach Disney worthy stories throughout higschool. In my opinion, this book has the right to be taught, and is like any other published book, it has its faults, but it should be the true meaning of the book that counts, not a little detail.