Huckleberry Finn as a Controversial Text (speech)

Mark Twain once wrote, “One of my theories is that the hearts of men are about alike, all over the world, whatever their skin-complexion may be.” Throughout many of his novels, essays, stories, and personal letters, Twain expressed his anti-racist feelings. He even personally financed the first black person’s admission into Harvard. Despite this, he has been continuously hounded throughout the years by the social and literary world for “supposedly’ portraying and perpetuating his racist views and ideologies through Huckleberry Finn. This delicate theme of Racism and Slavery is a very controversial one and like almost everything controversial, it has been interpreted in many ways by different people. It is ultimately this vast interpretation and views that has led rise to great debate and controversy about Huckleberry Finn. I’m standing here to discuss this issue and hopefully provide a further insight to why the book is controversial right till this day. This controversial debate has spread like wildfire and has seemed to touch every aspect of the way we live. From racial to social, this debate has now entered the classrooms and our education system. To teach or not to teach? This is the question that is presently on many administrators’ minds about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Criticism began to surface in the late 1950’s. Black parents and public school officials objected to classrooms usage of Huckleberry Finn on the grounds that the book was not only insulting but humiliating to black students. As a result of these protest, some school districts have removed Huckleberry Finn from their required reading list. They argued that the book could have psychologically damaging effects on the self-esteem of African-American children and could promote discrimination towards the blacks. The question of whether Huckleberry Finn is a racist novel or not centers on the depiction of Jim, a black slave, and the…

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