Banned Book B.S.

First off, I would like to say kudos to Alex and Lexy.  You two lead an awesome and very informative discussion in class today.  Second, I am once again incredibly angry, due to the fact that I learned today that the novel that has come to be known as the greatest American novel of all time, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, has been noted as too offensive and censored for the classroom.  I understand that the use of the N-word many come off as offensive to many especially sense it is used in an excess of 500 times throughout the course of the novel and by no means am I trying to promote racism by leaving it in.  The simple fact of the matter is that no matter how much we would like to pretend that slavery never happened, it did, and we need to be able to understand our past if we are to create a better future.  The use of the N-word was simply part of that history, and ignoring it is not going to make it go away.  As teachers, it is our job before teaching Huck Finn to put it into context for our students and explain to them the offensive nature of the word, instead of taking the easy way out by removing the word thus taking away from the story behind the novel.  Read it not in an offensive context that the word has come to be associated with today, but in a historical context that is a part of the story in the novel.

Moreover, in addition what startled me in class to day were the criteria behind banned books from our public schools.  If that wheel is what it takes to get a book banned than every Shakespeare play, and really and novel and or short story for that matter, must be banned from our schools.  Things like sexuality, violence, and drug use are simply a part of being human (not that I am promoting those themes, they are simply just the only ones I can remember from the wheel).  Without stuff like that in the novel it would be an incredibly boring and unreliable read.  As a teacher if you are really that concerned by someone’s parents being offended by what you are teaching their children, (other than telling them to grow up and stop babying their children (just kidding (but seriously))) allow them to go to the library and read another book instead.  One other thing that I thought was messed up: Harry Potter.  Really? I mean really? You have to be joking me.  The original barely presents any of the criteria used to classify a banned book, and presents many great lessons to teach to our students.  And if you are really going to play the “my child won’t go to school because he thinks that he is going to get an admission letter to Hogwarts” card, stop point fingers at other people and tell him that it is a FICTIONAL novel and has very little basis in reality. 

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One thought on “Banned Book B.S.

  1. lexyeaggs says:

    thanks for the kudos!! that is so kind! i agree completely with the criteria of the wheel; i think you could find anything with most books that lends for it being on the list of ban-worthy. I also agree about the harry potter thing. back in the hayday of harry potter being banned my personal favorite argument was the religious one, firstly because i am a Christian and see literally no connection with that and the occult, and secondly with the fact that when the final book was published it emerges that it could be read as a Christ allegory. and thirdly, what with all the talk of people being witches and dabbling with darkness, I was able to understand more what it must have been like to live in the time of the salem witch trials…

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