Huck Finn: Comparing and Contrasting the Controversies Surrounding Banning Books

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Huck Finn: Comparing and Contrasting the Controversies Surrounding Banning Books

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, deemed one of the great American novels, was published by Mark Twain in 1884. From the start, this novel has sparked a lot of negative criticism. There were heated debates among critics, and in schools debating whether or not to ban this controversial piece of literature. In today's society, this book still offends sensitive readers, because it was written in a time when people were not sensitive to the plight of African Americans. Just a month after it was published, The Concord, library in Massachusetts banned all copies stating that it was “Not suitable for trash.” (Ruta1) It was believed, that racism was at the heart of this book, and the content was, and still viewed as being harsh. Louisa May Alcott was a popular author who served on the very first library committee in Massachusetts, where The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was banned. She voted against this book from being sold, read or viewed. Criticizing Mark Twain saying that "Huck should not sweat. He should perspire." (Ruta1) Other libraries began removing their copies stating that it is inappropriate for children to read. The number of concerned citizens continue to debate on this subject today. Derogatory words are seen throughout this story in reference to showcase the difference between the two classes, white verses black. This book not only celebrates an unlikely friendship between these two races, it glorifies a lifestyle that favored hate in a predominately white culture. The forbidden words that entwine and flow throughout this book, scream a particular time and place that favored discrimination in the 1800’s. Also, its context was a clear realization that struggle and sacrifice is at the forefront between these classes. For years, this book was/is viewed as a…...

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