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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel written by Mark Twain that was published in 1884 in England and 1885 in US (Hearn 23). This was among the first novels to focus on American literature. The book describes the people and places along Mississippi River. It focuses on the society of Southern Antebellum of which it existed past twenty years before the publication of the book. The book has a lot of themes, which makes the reader develop positive attitude towards reading. Many people have perceived the book as an anti-racist novel, but it has received rejection and critique from many scholars. The book is not worth to be told in High Schools because of the set up. It talks about racial stereotypes and frequently uses racial slur “nigger”. It has themes like discrimination and racism, which can make students develop negative attitude to each other (Twain 45).
The book is set in a traditional society. It talks more about the society which existed a long time at Mississippi River and the way they interacted. The society had king who was to be succeeded. One of the two cunning drifters rescued by Jim and Huck claimed to be the son of English duke and claimed to be the right person to inherit the kingdom (Twain 134). This shows that the story is set in a traditional society, and hence in modern society, many people will not get the meaning of the book. Things have changed and technology advanced. The students attending High Schools need things which are practical, and when reading the book they will take it as a simple narrative. Besides, the plot of the story is not acting in favor of modern students, and they should read other books that are more focused on modern society (Twain 89).
As described by the author (Twain), it is clear that he notes that Jim was good, loving and needed freedom. He tries to bring up the theme of love, caring and freedom in the novel, but this is contrary to the analysis, since there are many aspects of racism, because he repeatedly uses the word “nigger” (Hearn 56). Huck, one of the characters in the novel, has been in conflict with each society he lives or comes across. Huck perceives his friendship with Jim as human worth and contrary to the things which he had been taught. Twain describes that, “a sound heart is a surer guide than an ill trained conscience”. He then notes that the novel is about sound heart, and when deformed conscience comes into conflict, it suffers defeat (Hearn 34).
The book devolves more into little satire than minstrel show satire. Hemingway declared that the book is the best narrative of American literature, but if anyone needs to read it, he/she should stop at where the Nigger Jim is stolen, because the other chapters are cheatings. It has much repetition of word “nigger” and “Jim” in many chapters, like in chapter XXXI (Twain 278). Louisa May Alcott, a writer, criticized the publication of the book, noting that if Twain “had nothing better to tell pure-minded lads and lasses”, he could have better not written for them. Thus, the setting of the book should be changed or it be abolished in High School curriculum (Hearn 78).