Important issues like, "Are individuals more important than society?
Think about it this way: Huckleberry Finn suggests that the accepted moral values of society are wrong. Public schools and most private schools are usually pretty committed to sticking to accepted moral values.
The Historian's Huck Finn
Let's be clear: in most cases, those accepted moral values—don't cheat; be respectful; show up to places on time—are hard to argue with. But it's easy to see that schools might be a little wary about having their students read a book that suggests individual conscience should be a more important guide than the rules and laws that everyone follows. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can never hurt us —or can they? Hip-hop music is full of the n-word.
In Django Unchained , Quentin Tarantino uses it practically every sentence.
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Or maybe literally every sentence: we didn't count. And Huck has no problem referring to his supposed friend with the same offensive word. Hip-hop artists would say that they're reclaiming the word and using it to define a community; Tarantino has said that he's trying to show the racism of slavery accurately. And Twain was just trying to represent the dialect of the time, writing one of the first American novels to use real people's language rather than literary language.
But does that mean we need to read it now?
Send Huck Finn to College
Can we read the book in classrooms as just a piece of history, or does the n-word still have the racist power of the past? Was it right for a edition of Huckleberry Finn to replace all the instances of the n-word with "slave," or is that an act of censorship that changes an important work of literature?
All rights reserved. We're not sure.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
But we are sure that words matter—and that this is a book to care about. Cite This Page. Logging out…. Logging out You've been inactive for a while, logging you out in a few seconds Anything I should keep an eye out for, motifs or symbols I might miss? If you can find it, the Norton Annotated edition with annotations and a very lengthy foreword from Michael Patrick Hearn is astonishing at showing the ties between the text and the experience of Twain, as well as the culture from the time it was written to the almost-present day.
Send Huck Finn to College - The New York Times
It will help you get more of the jokes. Its a really good read, just know the time period it was written in. Just every few pages, start reading it out loud. I had so much fun reading that book. Great humor, great melody, great characters.
Reading Mark Twain's Masterpiece as Social and Economic History
I had no objections to turning pages there. Huck Finn is a book that resists motifs, symbols, or syllogisms.
You can invent some of your own, as so many scholars do, but the book was written with only two goals in mind:. Write a sequel to Tom Sawyer that will continue to make Twain plenty of money. The only thing to beware of is that most readers despise the last handful of chapters.
- Huckleberry Finn.
- by Mark Twain.
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I enjoy them, but they are a tonal shift to end all tonal shifts.