The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, By Samuel Clemens Essay, Research Paper
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Samuel Clemens, besides known as Mark Twain, is likely one of the greatest plant of American literature of all time written. Ernest Hemingway even said in his book The Green Hills of Africa, & # 8220 ; All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn & # 8221 ; ( Zwick ) . However, since Twain published Huck Finn 112 old ages ago, it has been the topic of much unfavorable judgment, largely all unfair. The Concord, Ma, banned the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Public Library instantly after its publication in 1885. They said the book was & # 8220 ; unsmooth, class, and inelegant & # 8230 ; The whole book suited more to the slums than to intelligent respectable people & # 8221 ; ( as quoted in Clemens 285 ) . Since the original forbiddance of Huck Finn, it has been challenged and banned many times all over the state. Much inquiry has been brought against Huck Finn as to its rightness for the reading populace, and some of it truly so. Huck is non as strong in his ethical motives as our parents and pedagogues would likely wish him to be. He is involved in several Acts of the Apostless of larceny. For illustration, shortly after the beginning of his journey along the river, he would travel ashore and he & # 8220 ; lifted a poulet that warn & # 8217 ; t perching comfy & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Clemens 56 ) . Huck fumes and cuts school. ( Clemens 9 and 18 ) He engages in lying, when he impersonates a miss to see St. Petersburg and when he tells the premium huntsmans that Jim is white and implies that he has smallpox ( Clemens 51 and 75 ) . He lies many other times throughout the novel ; Huck is a bad illustration to kids who may read this book. Huck & # 8217 ; s program to get away from Pap & # 8217 ; s cabin in the forests, which involves smearing hog & # 8217 ; s blood all over the cabin and doing it seem like a slaying had occurred, is an easy strategy for any smart young person to frighten his parents with ( Clemens 31 ) . In October of 1997, a 9th grader in Hollister, California & # 8220 ; borrowed & # 8221 ; money from his parents and used it to wing to Hawaii. His female parent believed that the male child got the thought from his hero, Tom Sawyer ( Zwick ) . Critics claim that the book is full of thoughts that cause waxy kids to make things like that ( Ockerbloom ) . Oppositions still have more negative statements about the content of the book. Leslie Fielder, a literary bookman, believes that Huck and Jim engage in some type of homosexual relationship on the raft ( Fielder as quoted in Clemens 416 ) . The fact that Huck and Jim rarely wore any apparels on the raft merely farther substantiates this thought. Additionally, Twain intended Huck Finn to be a humourous novel. However, most of the wit, particularly towards the terminal of the book in the Wilks brothers con, is in hapless gustatory sensation and & # 8220 ; inelegant & # 8221 ; Boston Transcript. Twain & # 8217 ; s jabing merriment at the Hare-lip, and the & # 8220 ; long legged under taker & # 8221 ; episode were non looked favourably upon at clip of publication, but are non every bit much criticized now ( Clemens 139 and 144 ) . Today, the chief expostulation to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the fact that the book contains the word & # 8220 ; nigger & # 8221 ; more than two hundred times throughout the novel. Equally late as last February, the Pennsylvania subdivision of the NAACP led a charge against Huck Finn to hold it removed from required and optional school reading lists. But, when sing the issues involved, one must maintain in head that this book was written in a different clip from that which we live in today. There was no such thing as politically right. The word & # 8220 ; nigger & # 8221 ; was a word used normally and unabashedly back so. So, how can we keep a book written over a hundred old ages ago to the literary criterions of today? Huck Finn is non a racialist book, in malice of Huck & # 8217 ; s initial racialist point of view. Through the class of the novel, Huck additions progressively more regard for Jim, but still shows some racialist attitudes on occasion. After the dissension with Jim over the scriptural narrative of & # 8220 ; ole & # 8217 ; King Sollermum & # 8221 ; , Huck comments that & # 8220 ; you can & # 8217 ; T learn a nigga to reason, & # 8221 ; therefore connoting Jim & # 8217 ; s stupidity ( Clemens 65 and 66 ) . Throughout the book, Huck plays fast ones on Jim, which are besides meant to do Jim experience stupid. Towards the beginning of the book, shortly after we are foremost introduced to Jim, Huck and Tom put Jim & # 8217 ; s hat on a nail over his caput. He is convinced he has been ridden by enchantresss ( Clemens 11 ) . The lone motive for Tom and Huck making this is to do Jim look stupid. Subsequently, on the river, after Huck gets lost on the canoe, he tells Jim that he was at that place the whole clip and ne’er gone ( Clemens 71 ) . Huck & # 8217 ; s practical gags caused Jim emotional hurting and even physical hurting. On Jackson & # 8217 ; s Island, Huck kills a rattler and topographic points it in forepart of Jim & # 8217 ; s cover to frighten him. The rattler & # 8217 ; s mate comes and bites Jim on the pes. Jim is ill for four yearss and four darks later ( Clemens 46 ) . By the terminal
of the novel, Huck vows not to play tricks on Jim and he acquiesces to “humble himself to a nigger” (Clemens 72). He gains respect for Jim to the point where Huck will sacrifice his soul and go to Hell for Jim. Huck contemplates telling Miss. Watson about Jim, but Huck decides he would rather go to hell than betray his friendship with Jim (Clemens 169). Huck’s willingness to lie to protect Jim definitely shows that Huck sees Jim on a higher level than his status was in nineteenth century America.In addition to being a book that has been called racist, Huck Finn is a book that also was criticized around the time of publication for being antiracist. Twain’s depiction of Jim as heroic sends an abolitionist notion through the book. Jim is said by many critics to be ignorant, superstitious, and typical for an uneducated slave. However, many of Jim’s superstitions turn out to be based on practical knowledge of nature. For example, on Jackson’s Island, Jim could tell by the birds that the thunderstorm was coming (Clemens 43). In addition, Jim is shown as a caring and kind person in many instances, including after Tom is wounded and he insists on finding a doctor. (Clemens 216) This is made very clear when Jim recounts to Huck a story about him hitting his daughter and feeling guilty about it. (Clemens 125) Jim is not a character that Twain uses to make blacks look bad but a character that “should make every black American proud.” (Brunner)With all this controversy surrounding the book, it is not a big surprise that Huck Finn has been banned all over the country. However, as many people as the banning of this novel has appeased, still more have been angered by its banning. One man, one who you would think would be the most distressed at the banning of the book, was not upset. Mark Twain seemed to be almost grateful for the arguments surrounding his novel. Twain said that the Concord Public Library, ” condemned and excommunicated my last book–and doubled its sale” ( as quoted in Clemens 285). The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was not Twain’s only banned book. Another of his novels, The Diaries of Adam and Eve was banned. It was banned because of an obscene drawing contained with the original publication called Eve in “Summer Costume” (Zwick). The morals of the characters were also under scrutiny, a not unfamiliar state for many of Twain’s creations. Twain was not the only victim of America’s disdain for controversial literature. William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was banned for encouraging homosexuality. In addition to Shakespeare’s play, books from other prestigious authors such as John Steinbeck and J.D Salinger were also banned. Most notably books without recognized authors were banned too. Miriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and The American Heritage Dictionary were both challenged because of their inclusion of obscene words. Possibly, the most surprising of all was The Bible, which was called obscene, and pornographic (Ockerbloom). When Twain learned of his books being in similar company along with The Bible, he asked, “If there is an expurgated [Bible] in the children’s department, won’t you please remove Tom and Huck from that questionable companionship?” Twain was actually a fan of condemned novels. He showed this, along with his contempt for the censors, when he said, “I am always reading immoral books on the sly, and then selfishly trying to prevent others from having the same wicked good time” (Zwick)Twain did not care so much what library officials and other censors thought of his book. In the words of Booker T. Washington, “All that he wrote had an interest for the commonest man and woman” (Washington as quoted in Zwick). He wrote for the regular, average person. Twain refused to sell his book in bookstores, but door to door through subscriptions making it more accessible for average people. Twain once said, “My books are water; those of great geniuses is wine, everybody drinks water” (as quoted in Zwick). His book was not aimed at those who would take offense to abolitionist notions or humor at the expense of Hare-lips, but the common man. According to Brander Matthews, “Old maids of either sex will wholly fail to understand him or to like him or to see his significance and value.” (as quoted in Sloane 10)Critics say about Mark Twain, that his book, “enters as a classic only to explode like a hand grenade with all of these combustible issues” (Shelley Fisher Fishkin as quoted in Zwick). Huck Finn has managed to remain a piece of classic American literature even in spite of a mountain of unfair criticism. “We must be glad that we have a public commentator like Mark Twain always at hand” (Paine) We should all be glad that we have a “public commentator like Mark Twain” always at hand, and instead of banning his work, we should pay attention to what Twain has to say .