Freedom Of Expression In Huck Finn

1855 Words 8 Pages
Freedom of expression is a uniquely American tradition, at least to the extent we have here. Amy Witherbee, a researcher who studies how democracy and censorship go hand and hand said “At the core of censorship is always a parallel belief in the ability of an idea to alter lives and change nations. The challenge is to let those ideas wreak their havoc, and trust in our capacity as the citizens of a democracy to make of the damage something better than what was there before. If, on the other hand, we close down the arguments, retract the controversies, and avoid the challenges, then what we have is not a real democracy, but a nation afraid to lead itself” (Witherbee Par. 12). The First amendment is in place to protect citizens from censorship. …show more content…
In the new version of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn they decided to change a racial slur that had always caused controversy since the book originally came out decades before. In place of the word “nigger” which appeared in the original book 219 times the publishers decided to substitute the word slave. Martha T. Moore a writer for USA Today wrote about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn being edited and while talking about Professor Alan Gribben said “Teachers have told him that they cannot use the book in class because parents and students find the language "hurtful" and "injurious" (Moore Par. 3). Would Mark Twain have wanted his words to be changed in order to protect people from “hurtful” or “injurious” words? If he wanted to he would have when the book was causing controversy while he was alive. People have to realize that back in the days that the book was wrote that it was a word that was used regularly. Mark Twain wanted to cause racial tension with the book, he wanted the “hurtful” and “injurious” words to actually feel emotion. Forcing any sort of author or anyone to conform to the social norm of the politically correctness of today’s society is wrong. It’s also teaching the students who know that racial words were used in the past and that sexual expression is a real thing that they need to hide …show more content…
Some include racial issues, sexual situations, and age inappropriateness while others state such ridiculous reasons like the presence of witchcraft, being too sad, and encouraging a negative lifestyle such as engaging in pre-marital sex and being a homosexual. In other words, book banners believe that in this day and age that we need to try to protect our children and each other from the negativities from the past and present and anything that could harm us psychologically. They also try to ban books to try to suppress information that they don’t want shared. The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the most commonly banned books in the world. Some claim that it was not written by a child and was written by Otto Frank as Pro-Jewish Propaganda. Most schools however ban it because of sexually explicit material. They don’t want the kids to be forced to have to hear anything that is unfit for the ears. School Board member Scott Veerkamp says when talking about a book called Song of Solomon, "I think if we give them a book with that smut in it, it legitimizes it” (Penner Par. 15). The book he is talking of a book about a black man who comes to grips with a complex family history. It also begins with suicide and ends with suicide and has a few sexual passages. In making this comment, Scott Veerkamp basically says that just because he doesn’t like what’s in the book it is smut and shouldn’t be read

Related Documents