Banned Book Week: Huckleberry Finn
For many reading this blog, this title that I am blogging about today is not a surprise that it would be on the banned book list. The book is banned often because of its use of the “n” word and it’s treatment of Huck Finn’s friend and slave, Jim.
Though the book is 126 years old this year, it is still making headlines and was in the news earlier this year because the old, original version of the book is now banned and publishers are replacing certain words within the text to say “slave” instead of other, derogatory terms.
Now, as I have stated before, I believe that one of literature’s greatest assets to society is its ability to capture a historical time and place. Obviously, the language in 1850’s Old South was derogatory toward slaves- it’s what the civil war was all about. So, to ban this book because of its treatment of slaves is like banning a history book for saying what the Old South was all about pre-civil war.
Some arguments for banning this book is that if the purpose of this sort of education is to teach about the racial issues of the old south, then students could learn the same lesson from a book by an African American author who is “more sensitive to the racial issue”. However, I just don’t think this is the case. The purpose of the book is not to be sensitive- it’s to show the other side- what the average, white culture thought of race relations. So read both sides… read “Huck Finn” and another title to get the full-spectrum. Don’t limit your mind nor what you believe because you are not allowed to read it or because it is a “touchy subject”
So obviously, I don’t think this book should be banned…or censored. I believe in freedom to write and read what you wish. But… what do you think?