Being ranked fifth as one of the most challenged books in the 1990s, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, can definitely be considered a very controversial novel (Huckleberry 1). In fact, this novel has stirred up arguments since 1885, when it was first published. It has been banned in places because some people of high social status are offended by the use of improper language that is found in the novel. Also it has been banned because many African Americans view this novel as one that contains racial slurs and racism (Zwick 1). However, others enjoy the novel because of the important lessons that can be learned throughout it and because of its humor and literary quality. These people are usually white people who do not experience racism, so the racist comments do not bother them. They can enjoy the fact that the novel is about real life situations, and they read the book for its contents. They believe that a novel is evaluated by the quality of its plot, and that any language enhances the understanding of the time and social period in which the novel takes place (Hartford 1-4). A person's race, and how much education someone has had are factors that affect how a person interprets this novel. .
There are many parts in the novel that can be considered sources of controversy. One of these examples is how Huckleberry Finn talks, "I never see such a nigger." Another example is how Jim, Huckleberry Finn's African-American friend, speaks: "Why, yes, dat's so; I-I'd done forgot it. A harem's a bo'd'n-house, I reck'n. Mos' likely dey has rackety times in de nussery." (Twain 77-78). When The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published, immediately many people began to think of it as offensive. The Concord Public Library of Massachusetts was one library who almost immediately banned the book from its shelves when it was first published. The committee of the library at the time, who were very well educated, and had a somewhat high social status, had various reasons for banning the novel.