Analysis of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn

Please select one of the following topics for your initial Discussion post. Analyze the topic, DO NOT write a summary essay (do not summarize).



Topic 4) Consider the controversy surrounding the representation of Jim and the offensive term applied to him 213 times in Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, a novel that has often been on middle school or high school English syllabi. To address this topic, please read at least pages 97-101 in Tally’s article “Bleeping Mark Twain?” (read until you reach “appropriate way to achieve such a goal”). Make use of “Bleeping Mark Twain?” and one other Week 7 contextual resource as you address this topic.


Use only the following sources for discussion:



PRIMARY TEXT: Huckleberry Finn

The link takes you to the 1885 copy of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Scroll down, stopping to view the cover, the illustration, and other pages; you will then reach the list of chapters. Click on chapter 1, and read at least chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Huckleberry Finn. When you click on the link for chapter 1, you will first see the first page of chapter 1 from the 1885 copy; continue scrolling down to find the text of chapter 1 in .html format.

The novel is told in the first person, from the perspective of Huck Finn and in his dialect. Twain includes representations of American dialects in this novel, and you may be aware that the novel is well known for its use of an offensive word. We will consider that aspect and other aspects of this novel. One publishing firm recently opted to publish an edition of Huckleberry Finn in which the word “slave” is substituted for the offensive word. In the Recommended Resources below, Robert T. Tally, Jr., considers this substitution/translation (the article is called “Bleeping Mark Twain?: Censorship, Huckleberry Finn, and the Functions of Literature”).

2 Uploaded secondary sources:

Tally.Bleeping Mark Twain – uploaded pdf file


Minnick.Jim’s language and the issue of race in Huck Finn pdf file


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