Abstract

This article explores two methods that have allowed me to teach Adventures of Huckleberry Finn at a high school that straddles the racial dividing line in Kansas City, Missouri. In my class, students discuss the racially constructed boundaries the novel exploits. We then contextualize the current racial boundaries expressed in our cities and in our schools by reviewing census maps and reports and apply these trends to Twain's literary situations. Second, we view these literary situations and their characters within a Menippean satirical framework, whereby characters represent mental attitudes of people within a culture. By employing these two methods my students question how our mental attitudes have, or in some cases, have not changed over time.

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