Why The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Should Not Be Banned
Humans live in a world where you are stereotyped just by the way you walk. Humans live in a world where you are silenced by having opinions. Humans live in a world where you are called names because of your skin color. Humans live in a world where society follows what the leader does. In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain puts our world to shame with his brilliant mind. He judges the world with fat mouth full of satire and irony. Twain juggles society’s thoughts with characterization and the past. Worst of all, he ends our fairytale with reality and facts. Writers and journalist galore have tried to end this wakeup call and demise recognizing the real problems happening in the world. Not realizing the consequences to this act can separate races over only banning the book because of the n-word. It will not be able to show the importance of not using the terms and ideas brought out in the novel and also shed light on the stereotypes Twain brings out using his black characters. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not be banned. To begin with, banning the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, separates whites and blacks by using the n-word as the reason for prohibiting the book. William Raspberry, an African-American journalist feels the same in this concept by saying, “N-word. The word almost as magical in its negative power. Books- good books- have been banned because of its use. Race relations have been shattered, friendships broken and credibility destroyed by its mere utterness.” The n-word has obviously had some very bad effects in society and to African Americans feeling of self-worth. Prohibiting the book gives this word tremendous amounts of power that we all so desperately do not want it to have. Furthermore, banning the book because of its past gives off the idea that all different types of races are very separate and different. It is important to celebrate culture, but not with the idea that we all are ranked and do not have equality. Besides the fact that the whole point of the novel is to show how horrible stereotypes and the treatment of African Americans was, even reducing the amount of times the racial slur is uses can potentially create the idea that humanity must all hate each other’s ancestors for what happened back then. To briefly conclude, the book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not be banned only due to the use of the n-word.
Secondly, the horrendous terms and stereotypes of society used in Huck Finn emphasizes the importance of not believing the ideas that white characters show in the book and illustrate in real life. An excerpt from the passage, Race and Adventures in Huckleberry Finn, helps reveal the true meaning behind Twain’s writing and intention. It states, “They also seek to show that Jim’s humanity is far greater than his caricature as a minstrel figure, that his innocence is uses to poke fun at whites and show the falsity of stereotypes. Finally, the ending merely shows the power of society and Tom Sawyer to dehumanize Jim, which actually motivates Huck to leave civilization altogether.” This conveys how Twain uses his writing to show important issues. The reason why Twain uses such language, terms, dialects, and stereotypes is because he wants the world to have a better viewpoint and the only way he could do that in such a time period as the 1800’s was to camouflage that with the social norms. In addition, Twain not only shows the disgusting stereotypes of blacks, but also the white society’s ideas. He mostly shows this when Huck meets the Grangerfords, Shepherdsons, and the Duke and Dauphin. He reveals the hypocrisy of whites during the time, but emphasizes it through humor. On the whole, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn speaks against our racial past through terms, dialect, and stereotyping. Not for it.
Lastly, some people agree that Jim’s characterization makes fun of black people and is extremely degrading to all of the African American race. Julius Lester, a professor at at the University of Massachusetts believes this by saying, “Jim does not exist with integrity of his own. He is a childlike person, who in attitude and character, is more like one of the boys in Tom Sawyer’s gang than a grown man with a wife and children…” Although Jim’s character is made in a way that seems very immature for his age and his situation, this is exactly what Twain intended. Jim’s character is used to show the stereotype of black people being thought of as dumb and unintelligent. Yet, Jim is still found to be am almost heroic character and beloved in our hearts. Kenney J. Williams, professor at Duke University states, “At the end of the novel, when he could have saved himself from discovery, he comes out of hiding with the full knowledge that he is jeopardizing his freedom…Jim displays an affirmation of life that goes beyond the ignoble laws created to enslave. No matter how foolish Jim may appear, and despite the number of times he is called “n-word,” in the final analysis he cannot be burlesqued.” Throughout the novel, Jim continues to show his bravery and pride of being who he is. He shares information about himself with a 14 year old white boy who can potentially turn him in for being a runaway slave. Even though this is a huge danger to Jim, he still travels along on the ride of life with Huck Finn. Also, Jim uses his bravery to protect his friends at all cost even when his own life is in danger. To summarize, Jim gives pride to African Americans in the novel because of his heroism.
To conclude, Mark Twain stands up to the horrendous past and current society of our world through facts and irony. Given all these important thoughts, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not be banned. He conveys his issues with the view of the world on African Americans through the use of the n-word and words much like it, preventing a feeling of dividation within races. Twain captures racist ideas by emphasizing the importance of not using such terms and ideas against African Americans. Also, characterization in the story shows through stereotypes and thoughts of society. Overall, the book can cause a bit of confusion, but when people put their mind to it, there is no better book to tell them straight up facts about our society.
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