Censoring Huckleberry Finn Essay, Research Paper
Censoring Huckleberry Finn
Fellow staff, teachers and students, as we all know high school is a time to grow, find yourself and experience different personalities of different people. It is also meant to help you get ready for a world where dealing with different people and situations comes quickly. If you condone certain parts of this real world then you will not be prepared to face the problems and dilemmas of life. Censoring Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a prime example of shutting out the real world. It should be used as a way to portray life in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. To show how wrong we used to live our lives and how much better our lives are today.
Huckleberry Finn is a story about a runaway slave trying to live free in the south. The controversy about the book deals with the common use of the word “nigger” and the character Jim as a stereotypical runaway slave. People believe that it is a perfect example of racism in literature and should not be allowed to be read. Unfortunately, society today is trying to ignore our past and harsh
times. In Hannibal, Missouri, where Mark Twain wrote this novel they celebrate Tom Sawyer Days. This is when the whole town celebrates the works of Mark Twain. The sad thing is, Huckleberry Finn is not given its greatest gratitude even in its hometown. They try too ignore it, as if the city “is upholding a long American tradition of making slavery and its legacy and blacks themselves invisible” (Zwick 2).
As they say, History repeats itself and if we are not prepared for it then how can we make things better? Reading Huckleberry Finn today would be just like reading history books. History books teach about slavery and the Civil Rights Movements and we are not pulling them off our high school curriculum.
“Mark Twain told America, ‘This is how you are, like it or not”’ (Zwick 2). Many people do not want to face the reality that things said in Huckleberry Finn really or actually happened. The novel makes people like you uncomfortable because racism is still here in our country to day. There is a certain degree of fear when faced with reality. Having a book like this may bring up harsh feelings about the heritage of African Americans, feelings that need to be done and over
with. We are no longer in the Civil Rights Movement, and there is not any more slavery in our country. .
By eliminating Huckleberry Finn, you eliminate a piece of history. Pretending something didn’t happen doesn’t make the after effects disappear. For example, the Holocaust is often denied in certain parts of the world. If we start to pull all the detailed books off the shelves it will soon be forgotten. There are many documentaries’ of people’s personal experiences with the Holocaust, Huckleberry Finn is the closest one we have to slavery.
In this school we will not pretend that slavery never happened and that the word “nigger” was never used. As we all know the word is still used today and we live in a completely different society. This novel teaches us all lessons, not only about the past but how to see through differences in this world. Although the word “nigger” may have been used many times in the book, it was also used when Huck and Jim treated each other as equals. The book shows the toughness of racism but also shows that you can look beyond that, thus teaching a very strong lesson.
All of us here are either adults or pre adults. We are all able to watch the news every night and see what sort of racist things still go on today. Why not educate each other more instead of trying to keep out the harsh realities that we need to face.