Should Huck Finn Be Taught In Schools Essay Outline

Should Huck Finn Be Taught in Schools Essay

Get Your
Essay Written

Starting at Just $13.90 a page

There is a great deal of controversy over whether or not The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain should be taught in schools. It has been argued that Mark Twain depicts Jim as Huck’s impotent and submissive sidekick. Another argument made is that Jim isn’t portrayed as much of an actual human being nor is he treated like one throughout the novel. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be taught in schools so that students and teachers are able to think about and discuss their opinions on what Mark Twain’s purpose was in depicting Jim the way he does.

Many critics claim that Mark Twain saw Jim as no more than some type of loyal sidekick who was depicted as a simple-minded character who showed few humanistic characteristics throughout the book. This is not the case, Mark Twain had a purpose in creating a character like Jim, to reinforce yet challenge stereotypical racism back in that time period. Mark Twain did in fact make Jim a simple-minded character lacking intellectual abilities but he also humanized Jim by giving him traits like feelings and also by giving him somewhat of a paternal role to Huck. Doan’ know, yit, what he’s a-gywne to do” (85). “I went in en unkivered him and didn’t let you come in? Well den, you k’n git yo’ money when you wants it; kase dat wuz him” (320). These two quotes from the beginning and end of the novel show that Jim had no real intellectual growth throughout the novel. Mark Twain continues to have Jim speak in poor (poorer than the the other characters) English to reinforce the stereotypical racism of uneducated African Americans in the South.

However, Mark Twain also gives Jim somewhat of a paternal role towards Huck which makes Jim out to be more humane. “Come in Huck, but doan’ look at his face – it’s to gashly. I didn’t look at him at all. Jim throwed some old rags over him… ” (50). This passage from the book shows the paternal instinct Twain gave to Jim’s character in which he undermines racist stereotypes like Tom Sawyer’s Aunt Sally who claims that black slaves were not people (221). “My heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you was los’, en I didn’ k’yer no’ mo’ what become er me en de raf’…..

It was fifteen minutes before I could go and humble myself to a nigger, but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it, neither. I didn’t do him no more mean tricks and I wouldn’t done that one if I’d ‘a’ known it would make him feel that way” (86). In this passage Mark Twain allows Jim to voice his emotions and by doing so Jim is able to not only make Huck listen but think about the way he treated Jim. Mark Twain not only breaks racist stereotypes through Jim in this passage but breaks them through Huck.

Huck acknowledges that Jim is capable of having feelings and allows his own mood to be influenced by the fact that he hurt Jim’s feelings by doing so Huck has made himself “equal” to Jim thus giving another example of humanizing Jim. “Said the witches bewitched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees again and huge his hat on a limb to show who done it” (6). Jim’s story about the witches shows his childlike, naive way of thinking developed from a life in slavery in which he was sheltered from knowledge.

Jim’s lack of gumption allows Twain to fortify the patronizing racist stereotypes that had developed in the South at this time. How Mark Twain depicts Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well as Twain’s reasoning for doing so is a reason in and of itself why Huck Finn should be taught in schools. Huck Finn is more than just an adventure novel it is a book that encourages and requires students as well as teachers to think about the deeper meanings, such as Mark Twain’s purpose in creating a character like Jim.

Should Huck Finn Be Taught in Schools Essay

We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!

How fast would you like to get it?

Should "Huckleberry Finn" Be Taught In High Schools?

"At the heart of Huckleberry Finn lies a story about real human figures with genuine moral and ethical problems and decisions..." (Lauriat 26). This statement reveals the true nature of Twain's controversial novel by looking at the deeper messages of the book. This novel is a hot debate topic in any English classroom because many find it hard to look past the few racist epithets that are repeated and analyze the issues that the author, Mark Twain, addresses. Supporters of the novel state that because Twain was a "product of his time," his book reveals the harsh stereotypes of that period, something that must be looked at more closely. Opponents claim that the continuous racial insults void the book of any true substance.

Controversy cannot be avoided with the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but analyzing this controversy is what is important to high school students. Despite being occasionally depicted in negative ways, the numerous positive portrayals of African Americans make this novel quite appropriate for high schools because it obligates high school students to analyze and understand how blacks overcame the stereotypes against them in the Southern society. Twain constantly criticizes the white society by proving just how strong and competent blacks were during the racist period, and students must be able to analyze these criticisms. Throughout the novel, Jim is constantly shown as a positive figure, characterized by paternal qualities, selfless deeds, and his assertion of his intelligence, while the racist white characters are depicted as narrow-minded when they criticize Jim.

First, however, critics of this book feel it is inappropriate for classroom because of some of the racial epithets. One such example is the repeated use of the word "nigger" to describe a black person. As an African American school teacher states, "It is very difficult for my students and it is difficult for me...The use of the N-word (the word 'nigger' appears more than 200 times) and the way Jim is depicted as so childish is hard for them" (Smith n.p.). However, this single detail should not be used as the basis for banning the book. The term "nigger" is how slaves were referred to at that time, and because the word was so widely used in the South, Twain uses it a number of times to correctly portray the times. Furthermore, African...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Evolution Should be Taught in Schools

722 words - 3 pages Evolution and Creationism are both fact and theory but the question is which one should be taught in schools? Only a few school distracts have approved the teaching of evolution because it has more senitific evidence than creationism to prove that it is true. According to a new Gallup poll, just 39% of Americans believe in evolution. The Gallup polls also show that those Americans with higher education believe in the theory of evolution as...

Should sex education be taught in schools?

779 words - 3 pages Samantha DavisOctober 31, 2014Psychology 101Opinion PaperShould children be taught Sex Education in the school?A young girl is growing up to be something wonderful. She is in a school with children who grows up too fast. She gets with this guy she really likes. They been going out for a few weeks now and decide to go out to each...

Evolution: It Should Be Taught In Schools

1470 words - 6 pages In the uncertainty that the modern world is, there is one law that stays petrified in stone no matter what happens: “Things change with age.” No matter if it is in history, science, or even Pokémon, things change as time passes by and this process is called evolution. The theory formulated by Charles Darwin is the belief that all organisms have come from earliest creatures because of external factors (“NSTA…”). School boards everywhere have...

Should Evolution be Taught in Schools?

752 words - 3 pages Evolution has been taught in all public schools for as long as many can recall. Though the process of evolution is not the only theory, schools have been teaching it as if it is the complete truth, ignoring other aspects and only focusing and targeting on Darwin's theory of Evolution. However, there are still many other ideas that the students should be informed of as well because all are theories, all are hypothetic. Teaching of the evolution...

Birth Control Should Be Taught in Schools

1371 words - 5 pages “Nearly one hundred years ago, when Planned Parenthood was founded, birth control was illegal” (Richards) The first clinic was called Mothers Health Office, it opened in Brookline in 1932. After the first clinic opened, more clinics opened in other cities. In 1937 Salem police raided the clinic, seized all the records and arrested medical and social workers, then the same thing happened to all the other clinics that opened up.(Negri 2) Even...

Should Creationism be taught in Public Schools?

1186 words - 5 pages Teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design to our youth can be done in a way that is neither opinion based nor completely fact based, but may hold some risk of personal interpretation. The first thing needed to be considered is how can children of the middle school age range grasp such a deep subject and have the capacity to reach their own conclusion. Information found regarding the development of children in this developmental range was found...

The Controversy of Huck Finn: Reasons as to why Huck Finn should and should not be taught in schools

1276 words - 5 pages Since its publication, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, has been challenged for a variety of reasons. Many schools have...

Should Huck Finn be taught in the classroom? Twain was not a racist; he was simply exposing racism in his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

726 words - 3 pages What would be the reaction of parents if school administrations decided that the Civil War would not be taught because it was fought over slavery, among several other reasons? Would they also stand by and allow the Mexican War to be ignored because slavery would be allowed in the new territories? If these objections were heeded, then our schools would also be forced to eliminate

Should Intelligent Design be Taught in Public Schools?

1629 words - 7 pages In 1859, Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking Origin of Species, which would introduce the seminal theory of evolution to the scientific community. Over 150 years later, the majority of scientists have come to a consensus in agreement with this theory, citing evidence in newer scientific research. In an average high school biology classroom, one may imagine an instructor that has devoted much of his life to science and a predominantly...

why French Regional Languages should be taught in schools

1612 words - 6 pages INTRODUCTIONThe issue of whether Regional Languages should be taught in French schools in France has been widely debated in France recently, it is important, because it concerns fundamental moral and cultural question about the heritage of the French people.This essay will consider arguments in favor for that Regional language should be taught in French Schools in France, and will also outline some of the...

Should Huckleberry Finn Be Banned from Society?

701 words - 3 pages First off, I would like to ask you if you think Huckleberry Finn should be banned from society? With that question in mind I would like to tell you why it should not. The Novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, according to an offended citizen, that the novel "should be removed from schools curriculum and expunged from public library shelves." This novel is already banned from all black schools and Christian schools for the...

0 thoughts on “Should Huck Finn Be Taught In Schools Essay Outline”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *