Analysis That Provides a Greater Understanding of Chadwick and Smiley’s Concerns with “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
Smiley and Chadwick are writers who have concerns about Twain’s book written in 1885. For this reason, the two writers have articles concerning the works of Twain sharing teir critiques on the book. Both authors of each article take a position on whether the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is or is not a fitting novel for a classroom setting. Chadwick believes that the book triggers discussion of the issues of racism, while Smiley argues that it actually causes us to avoid the topic.”
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book that has many controversies since it was written in 1885. The book focuses on African- American relationship of Jim a young man who lives in the Mississippi river. One of the major concerns by Chadwick is the use of the word ‘nigger,’ which is disliked by most readers and critics. In estimation, the word appears 215 times making the book to be banned from most of the classrooms in United States.
Jane Smiley’s article mainly criticizes the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and points out several issues that make it not fit for a classroom setting. In comparison to Chadwick, the writing styles, the themes, and the language are not fit for the book to be used in a classroom setting. Chadwick’s major concern is the type of language used and the nature of racial discrimination that is illustrated by the book (Trouble).
The advantages of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in a classroom setting are important for the flowing reasons. One of the reasons according to Chadwick is that the books highlights the kind of American-African slavery has been going on. It shows in details the origin of the word ‘nigger’ and how the blacks were mistreated, hanged, and killed while being called the name. The book is important as a historic book drawing a clear line on the treatment of the blacks by the whites. The book is most important in the curriculum since it clearly speaks and brings out the issue of racial discrimination, racial language, racial inequality, and many racial concerns that most white Americans fear and always avoid. It is for this reason that most of the parents and critics advocate for its banning. Twain himself shows a greater understanding of racism (Literature).
Smiley gives her views and critics concerning the nature of language and written format that could allow this book to remain as an English curriculum book. One of the demerits of the book is that it is immoral in language. For this reason, the book is not fit for classroom setting since literary books should display a great deal of morality especially for children (CHADWICK). Twain as the writer is also believed to be having conflicting themes on racism. However, Smiley overlooks that fact that the book offers substantial grounds for learners in school to discuss racial discrimination and legality of racial language. Chadwick also overlooks the same fact of racial discrimination while criticizing Twain’s work. It is crucial to consider the fact that this book is a major concern and rejected by the society in general.
Many readers universally admire the book but offend the Americans mainly because it displays a sharp criticism on national American democracy, racism, and slavery. Chadwick also mentions that it is not right to disregard the book since it makes American literacy. Chadwick also reminds most of Twain’s critics that it is possible for them to throw away and ban the book but they are not able to ban or throw away the history and more specifically the issue of racial discrimination and slavery with regard to African-American.
In response to Smiley’s critics she quotes one of the Twain’s phrases that clearly indicate that the book is both immoral and vulgar in the way it presents itself hence not fit for any classroom set. Twain writes, “Those idiots in Concord are not a court of last resort and I am not disturbed by their moral gymnastics.” Another notable observation in terms of the shortcomings on the arguments includes no discussion of portrayal of nature on other slaves than Jim. There is also no discussion of Huck’s changes on attitudes towards Jim. There is also no discussion of Huck’s supporting a simpler and more effective plan that Tom’s for freeing Jim. Another disparity is that Twain neglects historical background and only gives his background, which discredits his works based on culture making the book not fit for classroom setting.
CHADWICK, JOCELYN. “Why Huck Finn Belongs in Classrooms.” Harvard Educational Letter (2000): Vol 16 1.
Literature, Classic. What Have Writers Said About Huckleberry Finn. 2004 December 2007. 2012 <Classic Literature. “What Have Writers Said About Huckleberry Finn?” 2007. About,. >.
Trouble, Born to. Adventures of Huck Finn. 2004 December 2007. 2012 .