The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

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In the following essay, James, a doctoral candidate at Yale University, relates the history of controversy surrounding The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and particularly its portrayal of the slave Jim. She argues that how the reader interprets Jim's character can affect the interpretation of the novel's problematic ending.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been a source of controversy since its publication in 1884. It was banned from many public libraries on its first appearance for being "trash." Although today it is widely regarded as a—if not the—classic American novel, it still poses problems for its readers. Huckleberry Finn has long been identified as expressing something essentially American: in the words of Bernard De Voto, "the novel derives from the folk and embodies their mode of thought more purely and more completely than any other ever written." In some ways, the debate about the American-ness...

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This section contains 1,941 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Study Guide
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.