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Huckleberry Finn to be censored

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Wed January 5th, 2011, 12:27 am

What makes this more disturbing to me is that it was a scholar ..a Twain one who suggested doing this and has rewritten the book. Bad man. BAD!

People are offended by it. Hey, here's an idea. How abotu you read it and understand the time period in whichi t was written. Stop looking at things through 2011 rose colored glasses.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Wed January 5th, 2011, 1:21 am

*Rolls eyes* What next?
No, I haven't read the book either, but this is incredible.
I'm sure there are shorter adaptations for younger readers but you can't beat the real thing.

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Wed January 5th, 2011, 1:48 am

[quote=""LoveHistory""] If an entire generation grows up not knowing the "n" word at all then someday someone will come across it, use it without a clue as to its origin and meaning, and offend a lot of people.[/quote]

This is already happening in a way. I work in an inner city school district and the "n" word is used in an entirely different way than its original meaning.
Intragroup versus intergroup usage

The "n" word has been used in a couple of novels I have had to read aloud (Sounder and Glory Field). When I explain to the students the intent of the original use, they are always amazed. I tell them it's a word I would never use and that I find it so offensive that I won't even say it when I am reading the novel. However, I make sure they understand that in the context of the time period and setting of the novel, the word was used and that is why it is in the novel.
Last edited by Susan on Wed January 5th, 2011, 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed January 5th, 2011, 2:44 am

The N-word is not disappearing at all. I live near Oakland and work with people of color, and I can tell you that it is a part of daily speech in black patois. It blares from cars in rap music, it drops from lips of high-school students. Apparently the only taboo use of the term is in a white mouth.

Around here, an exchange student from some eastern European country was beaten to the point of hospitalization because he innocently used the word he heard other students (black) using. How was he to know?

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Vanessa
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Post by Vanessa » Wed January 5th, 2011, 8:25 am

Surely it's like wiping out history, like not talking about the war - I believe the war wasn't taught about in Japan at one time. Years ago the 'n' word wasn't used as an offensive term in the UK. It wasn't thought of in bad terms whereas now it's definitely not a nice word and I don't know anyone who would use it.
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Divia
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Post by Divia » Wed January 5th, 2011, 11:14 am

[quote=""MLE""]The N-word is not disappearing at all. I live near Oakland and work with people of color, and I can tell you that it is a part of daily speech in black patois. It blares from cars in rap music, it drops from lips of high-school students. Apparently the only taboo use of the term is in a white mouth.

[/quote]

This is very true. I mean watch BET and their rap videos. You'll hear it...alot
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Michy
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Post by Michy » Wed January 5th, 2011, 4:30 pm

I may be in the minority here, but.... when I say that I found Twain's treatment of blacks and Native Americans painful and demeaning I'm not talking about use of the "n" word, but about an underlying attitude that blacks and natives were second-class (or less) people. Even had he not used the "n" word in his book, this attitude would still be there. Even Huck, who was a homeless, illiterate waif considered himself a cut above black people.

I have no doubt that Twain thought slavery was wrong; however, there is still a large gap between knowing that a group of people shouldn't be enslaved, and regarding them as equals. That is why it took blacks in this country 100 years after the end of slavery to gain the right to eat at whatever cafeteria counter they wanted, and to sit in any seat of the bus they wanted.

In this I understand that Twain was a product of his times; had I lived back then, I might have felt the same way. However, for someone who grew up post-Civil Rights, it is painful to read (and I don't consider myself overly-sensitive to such things). But there is value in remembering where we have come from, and if I had children I wouldn't hesitate to let them read Twain's books ("n" word and all), just for that reason.

I am more than ever interested to read Huckleberry Finn to see if its tone differs in any way from that of Tom Sawyer.
Last edited by Michy on Wed January 5th, 2011, 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Wed January 5th, 2011, 4:40 pm

But was that Twain's feeling as well, or was he a good enough writer to convincingly portray an attitude he personally found repugnant?

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Wed January 5th, 2011, 5:07 pm

I don't know. I suppose you'd have to read his autobiography, or some other NF work about him, to know the answer to that.

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Wed January 5th, 2011, 8:44 pm

I guess Willa Cather's Sapphira and the Slave Girl will be next to be sanitized as it contains similar words and sentiments.

According to two of my former students, German schools do not teach about the holocaust either (because it was a shameful period in their history).
And already we have people denying that such events ever took place . . . .

Sad, sad, sad.
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