Censorship on Huckleberry Finn, Argument and Counterargument
Time and time again art has been criticized for being too vulgar and expressive, Mark Twain was one of these individuals who participated in art, he was raised in the generation where slavery was common and racial slurs were frequently used. So to criticized and censor his work for writing what he grew up knowing would be like punishing Huck Finn for stealing things from others when he was told it was borrowing all his life by his pa “Pap always said it warn’t no harm to borrow things if you was meaning to pay them back some time; but the widow said it warn’t anything but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it” (Chp. 12 Pg, 49). I strongly disagree with the fact that people want to ‘update and improve’ the classic “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” because it uses a term that is found offensive frequently in todays generation. My problem with this posse that wants to change the wording of the book is that, their biggest concern to why they want to change the word “nigger” to “slave” is that they’re doing for the children, trying to make it more comfortable for them to read and protecting the youth from frowned upon terms. If this is their concern then why are they singling out books and classics from decades ago, why not focus on the books being published now with the terms “whore” “slut” or “trailer trash” in it? To me those are equally offensive terms. John Foley once said that he thinks “To Kill a Mockingbird” Harper Lee’s classic about racial inequality in the Deep South, and John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”(Source A) should be removed from the curriculum for similar reasons” all because they show the reader the time gap between the setting of the writing and the present of today even though in the beginning of all books they tell you what time frame the story is held in “SCENE: The Mississippi Valley; TIME: Forty to Fifty Years Ago” (Page 0). Now I can see why some might want these books (Huck Finn, Of Mice and Men, and To Kill a Mockingbird) removed from curriculum, yes I do believe that Twain used the term “nigger” a few times to many, “the N-word appears 219 times in Huck Finn” (Source C). Children or even young adults should not be exposed to the vulgar terms and racial slurs that were used in the past. Isn’t the whole point of evolution is to change over time? What good comes from exposing our youth to the past that we all know America is not fond of? Don’t we want our youth to know that these terms are not acceptable in today’s society or the future? When these books make it sound like it was just a little friendly nickname. This is why I
feel like students and parents should be given the choice as to whether they want them to read books such as these. We do it for movies at the beginning of every school year, why not do it with books also?