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ERIC Number: EJ857656
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
The Teachers' Lounge
Barlow, Dudley
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v74 n5 p65-68 Jan 2009
In this article the author shares his thoughts on how perceptions can be distorted by blinders people impose on themselves which brings him back to one of his literary and intellectual loadstones--"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." He learned that the English department at the school where he taught has changed the American literature syllabus. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," once a pillar of the program, is now more or less optional. The American literature teachers are supposed to teach some Twain, including selections from "Huckleberry Finn," but they may also teach "To Kill a Mockingbird" in place of Twain's novel. Many teachers feel "Huckleberry Finn" is just too difficult for sophomores and many teachers in the department are uncomfortable dealing with the racism in the book. It isn't just the racism, of course. "To Kill a Mockingbird," "A Raisin in the Sun," and "The Invisible Man" come to mind as works that focus on racism but would still make teachers less uncomfortable than "Huckleberry Finn" does. The great works of literature keep offering gems to consider. "Huckleberry Finn" blasts America's notions about race that contributed so greatly to the Civil War and have long prevented the nation from becoming the place where people are seen as being "created equal." But it also asks people to look beyond racial issues--beyond notions circumscribed by epithets such as: Christian, Jew, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, man, woman, and homosexual to discover the common ideals that bind people together.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A