Banning Huckleberry Finn Essay, Research Paper
Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn tells of a young boy and his adventures with a slave named Jim. It is the blunt retelling of slavery which causes the book to be banned from many public schools for fear of being offensive. The setting for this controversial tale is the deep south when slavery was at its height. It is here that we meet Jim, a slave on the verge of being sold to another man who lived far down the Mississippi River. We also meet Huck Finn who will become the central character of this nook. Jim and Huck both will run from their masters to try to find freedom; one from his abusive father and the other from slavery. While on their sabbatical, Jim and Huck speak to each other often and about many things. However, it is not their discussions about fishing that cause such an uproar. When Jim and Huck speak of slavery is when the text becomes offensive to many. Often are the references to the natural superiority of the white man. Even more predominant is the use of the derogatory term “nigger”, which is something that makes nearly 50% of the student population whom are African-American vastly uncomfortable. But should it be banned? The public school system is intended to fairly educate every child in our nation. To force even a single student to participate in something which they want no part of is wrong. To do so to nearly half of our students every year is a crime that must be stopped. It is for this reason that Huck Finn should not be forced down the throats of America’s students. Our country was founded on the idea of equality and reminding ourselves of how we are only now reaching that dream irreparably harms our students emotionally by making them relive their ancestor’s hardships.
Huckleberry Finn, a book by Mark Twain, deals bluntly and honestly with the reality of slavery. It tells of a boy named Huck and a runaway slave named Jim. The argument for this book’s censoring from our public school system stems mainly from the depiction of this character and his position in society. Many are the times in this book when sensitive national subjects are brashly discussed. Frequent use of the word “nigger” and numerous references to the white man’s natural superiority proliferate this novel. Any one of these in any book would ruffle some feathers. All of these instances together in one book cause significant outrage. Yes, it is true that some of the things featured in this novel can, and do, greatly offend people. I described earlier the depiction of the “reality of slavery” for the very reason that it is just that. A reality. It is a piece of our national history that is just as valid as the lunar landing or the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is not a complimentary piece of history. But if we censor it how are we doing our duty to our future progeny? If we don’t even know it happened and was evil, how can we make sure it does not ever reoccur? We must remember our failings just as well as our successes, if for the only reason that we must stand as guardians to make sure the enemy of slavery never again broaches the gates of our society.