Essay The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Essay The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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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’...


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...kleberry Finn who say Jim is presented in a negative manner and as a stereotypical black slave. There is no arguing against the fact that he was presented in the book as a black slave, but these critics are missing Twain’s intent. Twain depicted Jim as a character, that, despite the fact he was considered subhuman, still expressed compassion and displayed the ethics that southerners of the time lacked, as “the moral center of the book, a man of courage and nobility, who risks his freedom -- risks his life -- for the sake of his friend Huck” (5). This “courage and nobility” is what students need when faced with adversity in their lives, even if they are stereotyped as heavily as Jim was. When students grasp this message from Twain, they will then understand the process from oppression to expression, from excluding a novel to appreciating its cultural and moral value.

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