The Aventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mr. B. almost wept last night when we finished Tom Sawyer, especially after the buildup at the end about how Tom and Huck were going to swear an oath on a coffin, in blood, and become robbers. So he was thrilled to discover the story will continue with Huckleberry as the narrator. His reaction was similar when Narnia, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter books ended. Maybe a little more so with Tom, though. I think it’s because Tom doesn’t like school much, but prefers to be out having adventures. Of course, Tom and Huckleberry are super un-PC these days. Twain is writing about pre-Emancipation Missouri and uses the word nigger. Indeed Mr. B.’s teacher (No-Slack Slayton, as I think of her, though Slayton is not her real name) raised an eyebrow when I mentioned the books to her the other day at our monthly teacher-parent conference. I grinned. I just substitute slave for nigger when I’m reading. It doesn’t pop up that much anyway, and Mr. B. already knows about slavery. They learn about it in second grade now. It’s light, so far. The anti-Americanism will come later, I’m sure. If I do it right, by then, he’ll have enough perspective to see the anti-Americanism for the poltroonish claptrap it is.

0 responses to “The Aventures of Huckleberry Finn

  1. Oh, these teacher’s raised eyebrows.
    But you know, Dick, I can see in a few years some hack rewriting Mark Twain to make the books politically correct. Bleh…

  2. Dick Stanley

    It wouldn’t be hard to make it PC–at least on race. Just substitute “slave” for “nigger” or “Negro,” as I do when reading it aloud, and the major problem is eliminated. Anything else, such as removing Huck’s dislike for school, would be a serious rewrite that would change too much.