Dear John Wallace,
I object to your statement that Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the most grotesque example of racist trash ever given our children to read, [and] it should be removed from our elementary and secondary school classrooms. I vehemently disagree with your statement. Your argument is based upon the book using the racial term the n-word, showing detail about the North and the South focusing on the bad parts of our history, and positively showing a friendship between two different races. It is in fact these three things that are the reasons why it should be taught to all ages.
During the entire book, the use of the n-word is used more than 200 times, but what is the fault with this. Your case against the use of this word is that it is offensive to people, but when Mark Twain wrote this book, he could not predict the future and how we would react to the use of this word. Twains reasoning for writing this book is to familiarize the youth on the history of slavery, and he had no intention of scaring people, the use of the n-word was not offensive, it was an everyday word. Society has shaped this word to be derogatory, but it did not initially have that meaning. I think that the use of this word should not be a reason on why this book should be banned, because it shows children a different language.
Huck Finn also describes much detail about our history of the North and the South, though we may be ashamed of some of it. By describing great detail about our hardships through history, this gives children correct insight about our true history, teaching children what past life was like. It is an important piece of American history that gives an understanding about the lower class, especially in the time period of the young United States. We can learn about our past through Mark Twains eyes, and we can relate in to the present. Huck Finn is an important book because it outlines our history, the history that everyone should know about, because young America was not perfect, and through our imperfections we are created an incredible, free country.
In this book there is great detail a friendship between two opposite races that is described. A runaway slave Jim and a white boy Huck, from opposite cultures, having different rights. Throughout this book Huck begins to realize that Jim is not so different in the way that he is less of a person because he is black. Huck does face a dilemma in the beginning on whether to do the morally right thing of his society, and to turn Jim in. But he begins to comprehend that Jim cares for his own people, as much as Huck cares for his, that Jim has emotions and feelings just like anyone else, and through that understanding, a friendship bonds. Society, even in present day, people are judged or treated different because of race or gender, and by reading this book and interpreting in, a new way a thinking can be brought up, that everyone should be treating equally.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be taught in all schools, for all ages, because it educates kids about their countrys past history. It describes the South in this time period through the eyes of Mark Twain, and through this he enlightens our youth about the history of slavery. A bond and a friendship is created in this book, by a runaway slave and a runaway boy, working together to float down the Mississippi to freedom. No country is perfect, but by reading Huck Finn, children and adults can be informed of our mistakes in the past, and work to avoid them in the future.