In Missouri[ edit ] The story begins in fictional St. Petersburg, Missouri based on the actual town of Hannibal, Missourion the shore of the Mississippi River "forty to fifty years ago" the novel having been published in Huckleberry "Huck" Finn the protagonist and first-person narrator and his friend, Thomas "Tom" Sawyer, have each come into a considerable sum of money as a result of their earlier adventures detailed in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Huck explains how he is placed under the guardianship of the Widow Douglas, who, together with her stringent sister, Miss Watson, are attempting to "sivilize" him and teach him religion.
At the same time, he steals, speaks badly, rebels against authority, and runs away from home.
In those days, the book was often banned because it was not seen as fit for young people to read. Clemens cannot think of something better to tell our pure-minded lads and lasses he had best stop writing for them. Interestingly enough, the one language choice that was not contested in those early days was the use of the N-word.
Only years later did people begin to condemn the books as racist. He is put down throughout the book by various characters, and Huck even feels guilty for helping Jim to his freedom.
Perhaps their strongest argument is that Jim is not a stereotypical slave from that time, as slaves suffered much more than he ever does in the novel. The defenders argue that the novel simply portrays the way things were during that time period.
After all, the offensive N-word was used constantly, and people did continuously look down on people who were enslaved. To some defenders of the book, this proves that the novel was groundbreaking in that it shattered the stereotypes of the time.
After all, writing about a white boy who befriends a slave and frees him caused such a controversy purely because it was unheard of during those times.
This post is part of the series: These notes on Huckleberry Finn will examine various aspects of the novel, including its themes, its symbolism, and the controversy surrounding it.Huckleberry Finn is set along the Mississippi River.
In it, Twain used the N-word times. For more about Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and teaching controversial topics, see Huck Finn in Context, a guide for teachers on this Web site.
Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is.
The Struggle for Tolerance: Race and Censorship in Huckleberry Finn. Peaches Henry. Satire and Evasion: Black Perspectives on Huckleberry Finn, In the long controversy that has been Huckleberry Finn's history, the novel has been criticized, censored, and banned for an array of perceived failings, including obscenity, atheism, bad grammar, coarse manners, low moral tone, and .
For more about Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and teaching controversial topics, see Huck Finn in Context, a guide for teachers on this Web site. Use this "History of Censorship of Huck Finn" timeline to gain perspective on one of America's most controversial literary works.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published. - The Concord Public Library bans Huck Finn on account of the title character's bad example.
Steven Mailloux, "Reading Huckleberry Finn: The Rhetoric of Performed Ideology," New Essays on "Huckleberry Finn," ed.
Louis J. Budd (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge UP, 5) 3 3. For a defense of the early Jim as an example of Twains strategy to "elaborate [racial stereotypes] in order to undermine them," see David Smith's essay.