The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Essay

762 words - 3 pages

Censorship is a shroud for the intolerable, a withdrawal from the cold truths of humanity, and ultimately, the suppression of expression. When a book such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is banned in classrooms, students are not only stripped of an enriching work of literature, but also consequently stripped of the cultural and moral awareness required to survive in a world stained with imperfection and strewn with atrocity.
To accurately determine what an educational institution should do with a book that contains some degree of cultural or moral shock is to analyze what the purpose of these institutions actually is. “Some parents brought the town’s segregated past and their dissatisfaction with the present into the discussion about the book” (Powell, 1). It is true that people from areas where slavery once ran rampant will be emotionally distressed with books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This may be understandable, but ultimately, schools are not purposed to dampen the discomfort of specific students and their families. Education Assistant Professor Jocelyn Chadwick states, “‘you have to remind them you are there to defend the text and not solve social issues’” (Powell, 1). Alleviating the cold reality from members of the community is neither a responsibility of educators nor a pedagogical concern. For the teachers and professors, the education of students, through whatever methods and textbooks, should far outweigh any of the culturally or morally shaky backlash that could follow. However, some disagree with this. “The CHMCA officially objected to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on the grounds that ‘the prejudicial effect of the racial characterizations outweigh any literary value that the book might have’” (Schulten, 4). Twain’s intent was not to be derogatory at all. “Rather, Twain is using this casual dialogue ironically, as a way to underscore the chilling truth about the old south, that it was a society where perfectly ‘nice’ people didn't consider the death of a black person worth their notice” (5). This misunderstanding highlights the need for books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to be taught by teachers who “want to teach the kids to be heroes the way Huck is a hero when he tears up that letter and realizes that...

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