Huck Finn Essay Thesis Statements

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Research Paper

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Since its first publication in 1884, Mark Twain’s masterpiece The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has proven to be one of history’s most controversial novels; especially recently, the novel has often been banned by schools and censored by libraries. Characters in the book are constantly using disparaging language toward slaves, and the repeated use of the word “nigger” makes many sensitive and offended. Critics denounce the novel and Mark Twain as racist for this word being insulting and politically incorrect and for its depiction of black people and how they are treated. However, Twain was not attempting to perpetuate racism; on the contrary, he used satire to expose the ignorance and paradoxical views held by many in America at that time.…show more content…

Huck learns humanity from Jim; without Jim, Huck would be restricted to stealing and lying. Author Charles Nichols maintains that “the heart of Huckleberry Finn is, of course, the developing moral sense of the boy Huck. This growth depends upon his recognition of the humanity of the slave Jim” (212). Twain clearly shows that Jim is extremely moralistic, whose primary function is to further the characterization of Huck by his presence, personality, actions, and words. Additionally, critics object to the novel because it is unfit for children and its language is unsuitable or offensive. Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Jane Smiley contends that “to invest The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with ‘greatness’ is to underwrite a very simplistic and evasive theory of what racism is and to promulgate it” and that placing in context Huck’s use of the word “nigger” is inexcusable (64). In the nineteenth century, blacks were consistently referred to as “niggers”; if Twain had denied that, the novel’s story would have seemed historically inaccurate and essentially meaningless, instead of demonstrating how evil slavery and racism are. If the novel was rewritten to appease the affronted masses, slavery and racism would not even come into play, making Jim’s escape unnecessary, and ultimately reducing the novel from a great piece of American literature to a comical story. Barbara Jackson, professor of education at Fordham University, states, “the word was so commonly used that

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thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When indoubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When anassignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, todemonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you arebeing asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out ourhandout,How to Read an Assignment, for more information.)

How do I get a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not thefirst thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop anargument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possiblerelationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), andthink about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, youwill probably have a "working thesis," a basic or main idea, an argument that youthink you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way.Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help themclarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive ata thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout onBrainstorming.

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there's time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the WritingCenter to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere,you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft andits working thesis, ask yourself the following:

Do I answer the question?

Re-reading the question prompt after constructinga working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of thequestion.

Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose?

Thesisstatements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If yourthesis contains words like "good" or "successful," see if you could be morespecific: Why is something "good"; What makes something "successful"?

Does my thesis pass the 'So What?' test?

If a reader's first response is, "Sowhat?" then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to alarger issue.2

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