The Instigator
startrekfan1324
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
HEADPHONEGUY
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

Huckleberry Finn should be banned from High Schools.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,174 times Debate No: 13321
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

startrekfan1324

Con

Thesis: I think that Huck Finn is a classic piece of American literature, and shows the outright ignorance of the pre-Civil War South. When taken in a historical context, and when one understands the mindset of the author, Mark Twain, the book is, cover to cover, a complete satire of bigotry.

I'll let my opponent make the first official argument. Please be civil. I look forward to a response.
HEADPHONEGUY

Pro

Thank you for the debate.

C1- Well I agree with everything my opponent said. Further more the only reason Instructors consulting teaching values through teaching literature will have resolved this debate long before they walk into the classroom to supervise " a close reading of Huckleberry Finn that will reveal the various ways in which Twain undercuts Jim's humanity: in the minstrel routines with Huck as the 'straight man'; in generalities about Blacks as unreliable, primitive and slow-witted..."
We discover that this moving, funny novel is being taught not as a work of art but as a piece of damning evidence against that bigot, Mark Twain.

good luck
Debate Round No. 1
startrekfan1324

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for his prompt acceptance and I wish him the best of luck.

Firstly, I would like to make the point that Huckleberry Finn was written during Post-Civil War Reconstruction, but takes place in pre-Civil War Missouri. Many words such as "nigger" (I use this derogatory word only in the context of this debate. It will not be said again.) were used as common words. Like saying Black or White or Mexican. At this point, that word was only a Deep-South pronunciation of Nigra, which was a Border-South pronunciation of Negro. Twain is not being a bigot if he is writing the dialogue and thoughts of a character of this era.

Secondly, Twain portrays the character of Jim as a typical slave stereotype, naive and uneducated. However, by the end of Chapter 15, Twain has already tried to shave away the stereotypical nature of Jim, and make him a more Round and Dynamic character. Example being when Huck and Jim are separated in the fog. When Huck finally finds Jim, he is asleep. Upon awakening him, Huck tries to convince him that the separation was jut a dream, for no reason other than Huck's amusement. Soon enough, Jim soon realizes that it is just another of Huck's lies and reprimands
him.
"When I got a wore out wid work, en wid de callin' for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos' broke bekase you wuz los', en I didn't k'yer no mo' what become er me an de' raf'. En when I wake up en find you back ag'in, all safe en soun', de tears come, en I could 'a' got down on my knees en kiss yo' foot, I's so thankful. En all you wuz thinkin' 'bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie. Dat truck dah is trash; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren's en makes 'em ashamed."
(This would be an opportune time to mention that this is just dialect. Twain just intended to write in the accent of how slaves tended to talk.)
This humbles Huck, and he begins to realize that Jim isn't so stupid and uneducated. He realizes that Jim has became a sort of father-figure to him. More so than his own angry and and battered Pap.

Later on, when Huck and Jim believe they've reached Cairo. Jim jumps for joy at the prospect of freedom. He says that he will raise enough money to buy his wife, and then they would both save up to buy their children. Huck, who is beginning to feel regret as costing Miss Watson her "property.", hears this and thinks to himself, (in the interest of remaining concise, I will paraphrase.) "Here is this slave that I myself took away from Miss Watson, who never did me any harm, and he's talking about buying his wife and children! Children that belong to a man that never did me any wrong!" Twain obviously is using this as a social commentary. Basically, he is asking the reader, "Whose children are they?" Jim's. "Does anyone have the right to OWN them?" The readers opinion is irrelevant, but Huck believes that they are that man's property, and he would have lost his property, through the Domino Effect, all because of Huck. But, when Huck goes off on the raft to find people, secretly intending to turn Jim in, Jim yells out that Huck is his best friend and the only white man that ever kept his promises to him. When officers on a boat are searching for fugitive slaves, Huck tells them that Jim is his Pap and he has smallpox. This makes the boaters go away, and Jim is safe. Even when Huck was offered to chance to clear his "conscience", he did what he knew in his heart was right. Twain would not have put this in the book if he was a bigot.

I feel that this is an acceptable opening argument. I believe that I have offered enough evidence based on the text to support my points that any insulting words used in the context of the book were just that, in the context of the book, that Jim may have began as a racial stereotype, by the middle of the book, he becomes more round and becomes a father-figure to Huck, and that Huck's conscience is based purely on social norm and that he supports Jim when given the opportunity to turn him in. I thank you for your conduct so far, Pro, and I look forward to your rebuttal.
HEADPHONEGUY

Pro

HEADPHONEGUY forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
startrekfan1324

Con

For the sake of politeness, So that my opponent may provide a rebuttal, although it isn't strictly proper, I will not post a second argument.
HEADPHONEGUY

Pro

HEADPHONEGUY forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by startrekfan1324 6 years ago
startrekfan1324
Could of been a great debate... oh well....
Posted by startrekfan1324 6 years ago
startrekfan1324
I hope HEADPHONEGUY responds soon...
Posted by gerrandesquire 6 years ago
gerrandesquire
it can be a good debate.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
I wasn't exactly the biggest fan of the book, but is there really a movement to ban it? That's absurd.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
startrekfan1324HEADPHONEGUYTied
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Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
startrekfan1324HEADPHONEGUYTied
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Vote Placed by MikeNovotny 6 years ago
MikeNovotny
startrekfan1324HEADPHONEGUYTied
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Vote Placed by HEADPHONEGUY 6 years ago
HEADPHONEGUY
startrekfan1324HEADPHONEGUYTied
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