Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Twain's epic tale does not make our society less prone to epic fail

While I can understand (to a certain degree) the painful history associated with the "n-word" it, to me, doesn't seem like a remotely fair basis for the banning/condemning of Mark Twain's piece of epic literature (totally and completely epic, by the way). America has claimed to be many things, but "land of the free, home of the brave" should be viewed a little more objectively. Even up until now, traces of racism have not been removed from a society that likes to see itself so highly moral and deems itself as a capable example to the modern world. Attacking Twain based solely on the usage of a single word and trying to shield growing adolescents (from being offended to doing the offending) won't solve this problem that we have already chosen to ignore. Should I choose to have my lunch money taken from me by bullies, tell the administration of my problems and hope for assistance, or break the jerk's face? While this is illustrates a very extreme spectrum of options, it gets my point across: nothing will change if you do not take action. While Kathy Monteiro has valid reasons (prevention of emotional pain and prevention of future racism) I don't believe that not reading Huck Finn will reduce what is still spreading like cancer in society today. The internet is a prime example of blatant disregard for the feelings of others; just look read the comments on YouTube or hit up a game of Counter-Strike and get back to me on just how much we have come. Sure, no one is openly lambasting black people anymore, but what about the gooks, spics, chinks, and beaners? Are they lesser than blacks? Do they have to each have individual Civil Rights Movements? I don't believe that Twain meant any racism to come through his work, rather, he used it to strengthen the impact of Huck's choices. When Huck finds Jim on Jackson Island, he begins to see just how intelligent Jim is and even goes to feel bad for they guy when his own little joke got way out of hand. May I also remind you that Huck could have easily taken advantage of the superstitious Jim or just killed him outright with his gun. David Bradley makes the best points saying that the use of the "n-word" is not the moral focus of the book, but is a necessary part of Twain's realistic style. He also tells us that the word choice was not the controversy of its time and should not even be considered controversy if we, as a society, are really over it and it's apparent that we're not. It's like Hillary Clinton's promise to "protect the youth of America" by regulating violence and sex in video games. Is she also going to call me home at curfew (so much for being 17), lock away my dad's fine wine (because it's all I drink), check my internet browser history (my non-existent credit card gets me fine adult entertainment), and tell me that I can't buy the holiday review issue of Guitar World because the Playboy Playmate of the Year happens to be scantily clad and on the cover? Grow up, America because no one will do it for you.

Alex demands feedback (please and thank you)!

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