Why it is so important to ban Huck Finn

Discussion in 'Education' started by Baruch Menachem, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    Pretty much as soon as Mark Twain first published it, folks have wanted to burn the thing.

    Right now, the controversy is over the use of the word "******." As noted in the other thread, Mark was very careful about his language. He used the only correct word for the story. ****** has the meaning of stupid, violent, cowardly, craven, undignified. It is an interesting contrast that Jim, the only person of any real intellegence and courage and dignity in the whole book (A couple of female exceptions also, but they are only bit players) is consistently labeled with this insult. Mark was very much aware of the contrast and worked it hard. Compare Jim to the Duke and the Dauphine, Old Man Finn, the Shepardsons, the folks in those two Arkansaws towns where they did the "Royal Nonesuch...." And Jim is the one called "******."


    But it has always been a controversial book.

    The real reason is not the given reasons. When folks want to ban books, why is this one consistently at the top of the woodpile as the most important one to burn? Mostly because of the message that a mans worth is not in cash, but in himself, and the other message is that morals exist outside of societal norms, and a moral man is often in opposition to the morality of the society he lives in. Mark makes both these points early on. The first one is first enunciated when Huck and Jim are on the island in the river, and they are talking about finance. Jim has had small bits of cash, but to paraphrase his remarks, "Now I own myself, and I have never owned anything as valuable ever before." This is a conclusion that Huck makes for himself as well. One should own oneself, and not be owned by things, fears or desires.

    The second point is also important. Huck knows he has obligations to society to turn Jim into the authorities. He even has obligations to the widow Douglas, who has done her best for him. He was taught in church that it was important to turn Jim in. Huck decides he would rather roast in hell than do such a cowardly and disgraceful thing. His obligation to Jim and to himself is more important than his obligation to the social order.


    If you are the kind of person who wants to regulate what people read, think and do, this book is highly volatile explosive. The idea that morals exist outside of what you are told, the idea that one can own oneself and be true to oneself, rather than be owned by the social order makes this a very dangerous book.
     
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  2. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    i am against banning or burning any book....we all need to build our collection while we still can
     
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  3. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Why ban Huck finn? Cause we have too many stupid people in America?
     
  4. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    It is not a matter of stupid. It is a matter of controlling thought. People who think they should do your thinking for you, that believe independent thought is dangerous are the ones who fear this book.
     
  5. geauxtohell
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    geauxtohell Choose your weapon.

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    Huck Finn is one of the greatest pieces of satire in American literature.

    Anyone that wants to ban it is a moron.

    I love that any teacher who would assign it as a reading assignment in today's more politically correct world, now has to explore Twain's use of the word "******" and why, as you pointed out, it was important to the novel.

    Twain was brilliant.
     
  6. iamwhatiseem
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    iamwhatiseem Gold Member

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    Twain was anti-racist.
    He purposely used the term throughout the book to call attention to how derogatory and demeaning not only the term itself, but how terrible it was at the time to be black.

    He should be applauded for this book.
     
  7. psikeyhackr
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    psikeyhackr VIP Member

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    It's not important. It's STUPID.

    The book in in public domain. Kids can download if with the N-word all day long.

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    The Project Gutenberg eBook of Strangers and Wayfarers, by Sarah Orne Jewett

    That's it! We must ban kids from using the Internet because they might find The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

    Find the headquarters of Project Gutenberg. Put a burning cross on their lawn.

    Do they have a lawn? Well put it somewhere.

    psik
     
  8. geauxtohell
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    geauxtohell Choose your weapon.

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    You should really take the time to read the OP next time.
     
  9. R.C. Christian
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    R.C. Christian Gold Member

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    If the charlatans at the SPLC get involved you can kiss Huck Finn goodbye. Very sad censoring literature out of context.
     
  10. Zander
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    Zander Platinum Member

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    Fauxtrageous!!!
     

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