Essay, Research Paper: Censorship Of Mark Twain

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Collier pg.1 "The author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is Samuel
Langhorn Clemens, who is more commonly known by his pen name, Mark
Twain."(Lyttle pg.16) He was born in 1835 and died in 1910. Ever since The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published there has been a wide variety of
objections about the literature found in the book which are represented as
racist or hatred, because "Twain Attributed a stereotyped ^Negro^
dialect"(Cox pg.129). There has been acts of depriving children to read
this great novel by removing it from most school libraries. "The book is a
rich, deep text on many important issues: not only race and slavery, but
violence, child abuse, alcoholism, and many other problems still relevant to
American society. At the same time, it is an inventory of essential values, such
as kindness, courage, and the need through moral choices" (Koster pg.159).
Collier pg.2 Throughout the book Clemens compares and contrasts many of the
social groups. Throughout the novel Clemens portrays Caucasians as a more
educated group that is higher in society compared to the African Americans
portrayed in the novel. The way that Clemens portrays African Americans as foul
is through the conversations that he assigns them. Their dialogue is composed of
nothing but broken English. One example in the novel is this excerpt from the
conversation between Jim ,the fugitive slave, and Huckleberry about why Jim ran
away, where Jim declares, "Well you see, it ‘uz dis way. Ole missus-dat's
Miss Watson-she pecks on me all de time, en treats me pooty rough, but she awluz
said she woudn' sell me down to Orleans." Although this is the spelling of
how some Collier pg.3 Collier pg.3 African Americans from the south used to
talk, Clemens applied this kind of speaking only to Blacks and not to Whites
throughout the novel. There is not one sentence in the book spoken by an African
American that is not made up of broken English. The second way Clemens compares
people in the novel of different skin color is that all Blacks in the book are
portrayed as stupid and uneducated. The second way Clemens compares people in
the novel of different skin color is that all Blacks in the book are portrayed
as stupid and uneducated. The most offensive example is where the African
American character Jim is kept prisoner for weeks while he is a fool in a
childish game that Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn play with him. The next two groups
Clemens compares are the red necks and the educated. In the novel Clemens uses
interaction between backwoods and more educated people as a important Collier
pg.4 part of the plot. The usage of this mixing of two different social groups
is seen in two very entertaining characters called the duke and the king. These
two characters are red necks who pretend to be of an educated background to
trick naive people along the banks of the Mississippi. At one point in the story
king and the duke mess up in trying to act more educated when they to act out a
"Shakespearean Revival." The duke totally messes up the lines of
Hamlet saying, "To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin. That it makes
calamity of so long life. For who fardel bear, till Birnam Wood do come to
Dunshire, but that fear of something after death."Thirdly Clemens compares
adults and children. Clemens shows adults as the usual group in society, and
children as the unusual. In the story adults are not shown with much info, but
children are shown as more imaginative. The two main examples of this are when
Collier pg.5 Huckleberry fakes that he had died, and when Tom and Huck
"help" Jim escape from captivity. This original feature Clemens gives
to the children of the story adds a lot of humor to the plot. Fourthly Clemens
compares women and men. Women in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are shown as
weak, while men are shown as more outgoing. The example of a weak woman
character in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is Tom Sawyer's Aunt Sally. One
example was when Tom and Huck were collecting wild animals to live in the shack
that Jim is being held prisoner in they accidentally let loose some snakes in
Aunt Sally's house and Aunt Sally, "…would just lay that work down, and
light out." The main reason that Clemens shows women as less outgoing, is
because there are really only four women characters in the novel, while all
major characters are men. And last of all Clemens compares women and men.
Collier pg.6 Women in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are shown as weak,
while men are shown as more outgoing. The example of a weak woman character in
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is Tom Sawyer's Aunt Sally. One example was
when Tom and Huck were collecting wild animals to live in the shack that Jim is
being held prisoner in they accidentally let loose some snakes in Aunt Sally's
house and Aunt Sally, "…would just lay that work down, and light
out." The main reason that Clemens shows women as less outgoing, is because
there are really only four women characters in the novel, while all major
characters are men. In conclusion Instead of the book being banned the book
should be studied with works on slavery, African American history, rights, and
many other things that were believed as bad Collier pg.7 acts in the book. Twain
was only writing what he saw and what was going on in those times. He didn't
mean to write a book that contained what is believed to be racist acts, on
purpose to promote he just wanted to make a book that people could enjoy not to
fight about.
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