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Huck Fin Synthesis

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I Believe that Huckleberry Finn should be taught and read in high school American literature courses, but only if students are provided with a teacher who can properly analyze and teach in a way that effectively shows this books true purpose as a satire of society. For if this is inefficiently done, the book can most certainly become offensive and crude, and as Wallace adamantly expresses can be "humiliating and insulting to black students" (source A). This book requires a mature audience of readers who must be able to look beyond the seemingly insulting surface. And readers must also understand that the message provided is not meant to have a similar effect as a speech by Martin Luther King. It is instead something more of a magnifying glass that Twain uses to illuminate overall the corruption and hypocrisy that drives society. It is not Twains solution, but instead his attempt to arouse awareness of the flaws in society and the flaws ourselves. While proceeding within these boarders, I believe that this book can produce a heightened sense of awareness and maturity out of its readers.

At its simplest form, disregarding all racial content, this book is a classic and holds literary value that is important for young readers and writers to experience. It shows effective use of irony and satire, both literary tools that should be taught to high school students. Also, Twain was one of the first authors to produce a righting style that was anything but the traditional romanticism. Twain sparked the literary switch into realism which vastly affects our literature today. In this way, this book has an essential place in the history of literature and is therefore important to be taught.

Yet, no amount of literary stature can make this book's contentious content ignorable. Critics rave that Twain's use of the word "nigger", his creation of Jim to be simpleminded and submissive, and the torturous end of the novel all together make this book "the most grotesque example of racist trash ever written"(Wallace). However I believe that twain uses all of his racy content for a specific purpose. Weather it be to contradict or to criticize, I don't think that twain ever throws anything in just for his own enjoyment or to cause problems. If looked at with a careful eye, it can be seen how each and every part of this novel is a crucial element to Twains overall discussion of society.

Primarily it is my belief that the use of the word "nigger" is simply Twain trying to properly depict the time period in which he is writing about. Twain spent years studying the speech of all of the types of people in the Mississippi region, so that he could precisely depict the culture. At this time, the word "nigger" was just part of common vernacular. However, more than just accuracy drives Twain to use this word. All through out the book, we see Huck's subconscious leading him to love and respect Jim. We also see Jim proving time and time again his equality to Huck. However, Huck can never escape calling Jim a nigger. So why is it that with all that Jim has proven to be, Huck can never consider Jim his equal? Either this is twain trying to make Huck a bad person, or it is twain trying to show the extremity to which society can brain wash and take control of a person.

Along with the use of offensive language, critics often claim that twain advocates racist stereotypes through out the personality and traits of the character Jim. Julius Lester in source C criticizes that that twain also makes "odious parallels" such as one between Huck's being locked in a cabin, and Jim's legal enslavement. I agree, that there are many parallels in this book, however I believe that twain uses them to do quite the opposite and promote Jim's character. For example, the scenes of Huck's captivity that Lester discusses are provided for an alternative purpose. If twain was trying to create some sort of connection between Huck's being locked in a cabin, and slavery, I would like to think that he would at last give the reader some clue into this notion. As a reader I certainly never made that connection, but that could just be my lack of insight. However, I did find a seemingly more obvious parallel between Huck's dad and Jim. Twain sets them both in fatherly positions towards Huck, and therefore sets them up for comparison. There is even a specific scene in which Jim confesses to Huck about the one time he hit his child, from which the reader draws a direct connection to pap. We see that Pap is a drunkard who beats his child daily, where as Jim after hitting his child once, cries and regrets it so much that he is unable to ever forgive himself. We see Jim constantly sacrificing himself for the happiness and safety of Huck, while the only reason why Pap even took Huck in was so that he could get a hold of Huck's fortune, naturally so that he could get drunk. As So by providing the character of pap, Twain is purposefully trying to show Jim to be superior emotionally and morally, both which directly contradict the common stereotype of blacks at this time.

Another parallel that twain provides involves the many tricks that are played through out this book. Huck seems to be constantly playing tricks on Jim, something that critics might say fortifies that boundary of slave/master, and makes Jim seem simpleminded and dumb. However Jim is not the only one who is victim to trickery in this book. There are also the southern town's people who are constantly being fooled by the king and the duke. Interestingly what we see happen is



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