‘Huckleberry Finn’ is my least favorite book

 “The books you read in class always seems to have a strong connection with whatever angsty adolescent drama is being recounted. Except for ‘Huckleberry Finn’, ’cause I don’t know any teenage boys who have ever run away with a big, hulking black guy.”

This is a quote from the movie “Easy A” starring Emma Stone. It is humorous, and is intended to be so, but it conveys a lot of the feelings I have about “Huckleberry Finn,” which I’m being forced to read for American Lit.

I don’t have that high of an opinion for most classics, as evident by the entirety of my blog, but for me, Huck is an absolute drudgery.  I do not know why I hate it so much.

It’s not that I find it too difficult to read, even though Mark Twain’s usage of Southern dialect is extreme and arduous. It’s not that I think the book is overtly racist or disagree with Twain’s social commentary.

It’s just boring. I don’t relate to anything. I stopped caring about four chapters in.

I feel like there are lots of different books we could read to get the point of racism across. In fact, I think we should move from the slavery era to the post-slavery era, because those feelings of prejudice are the most prevalent in our society today.


Books we could read instead of Huck Finn

  • “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

I think it would be far more impactful to have every high school student read Angelou rather than Twain. I read this book in Junior High and I will probably pick it up again. It was truly eye-opening, and I have never felt the same way about the plight of minorities. It also continues with the theme of racism toward African Americans.

  • “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

This may not be a true literary classic, and it is not totally accurate, but then again, most of Twain’s work is wildly inaccurate. It would also be a little more appealing to high schoolers, due to the movie. It’s similar to “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in that it is a book by a woman about women, and I think it is ridiculously important to incorporate more females into the curriculum.

  • “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers

Most, if not all of the books we read about racism are about the plight of African Americans. I am not saying this isn’t important. What I am saying is that it is time to incorporate other groups. There is a huge stigma against Muslims in this country, and “Zeitoun” looks at this with a refreshing perspective. It also includes Hurricane Katrina and other trials faced by the South.