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Thread: New Edition of Huckleberry Finn to Have All the Bad Words Removed

  1. #46
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    An insult. ? Gee thanks. I'm sorry you feel sorry for my kids because when I buy them books it is to read. Not to push a political agenda. And you might want to check out Will Durant. He's pretty interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kittylady View Post
    But wouldn't racism as reflected in the literature of the era as seen from ALL sides be a worthy dicussion in itself?
    Absolutely. Like I said, I'm not at all against the book being discussed. I'm not in favor of the book being censored. I just think a lot of people who make a big amount of noise about this don't have children at all. So the idea becomes more about the "theory" of the best way to teach something and less about the reality.

    When a person is being educated we're going for meta-cognition and engaging the learner and encouraging learning for life. We're not trying to ram an agenda down their throats. A book, that is given to students to read in a reading class should not be focused so much on politics because there are other things that are being taught. When you teach a 9th grader, you are encouraging them to spread their wings as readers and writers themselves. Encouraging them to explore character development and plot, theme and genre. A person who wants a kid to read Mark Twain to see the reality of racism in the US, is making it political literature.

    I disagree with that approach. I think high school students have a priority to learn to understand literature. Choosing a topic that creates a disengage is a bad strategy.

    I guess, to take all my blathering and make it short, I'm saying that there is a short amount of time for students to learn these skills and if it gets crowded out of the way to discuss politics, it is a disadvantage to the students themselves.
    Last edited by Tati; January 6th, 2011 at 11:29 AM.

  2. #47
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    I don't see it as trying to 'ram an agenda down their throats' - the class reads the book, they debate it and (with the teacher acting as the impartial mediator) each draw their own conclusions while having dissected the information contained within the story. This also takes in character development and tests the student's understanding of the motivation behind each character and any changes that occur as the story progresses. Debating the issues contained within a book using the characters experiences and views is, in my opinion, a good way to help a student look deeper into the text and understand not only who but also where and when they are reading about.

    To remove books that may have a political slant also rules out a lot of the classics as many of them had an underlying social or political message, often disguised as satire. Just because this is easier to pick up on in books such as Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird doesn't mean that it isn't present in other books as well or that it shouldn't be acknowledged and discussed. Are we to block all books that have an overt or covert commentary relating to issues of the times that they were written or set in? If we do then reading lists will shrink to such a narrow margin of approved texts that we'd be doing a disservice to the students studying them. And again, the use of an underlying message within a book and the motivation of the author in writing it is also a valuable discussion point for students, as well as showing them that a book can be so much more than merely a selection of words strung together in an entertaining fashion. It can be a tool to reach people, to share a message and express both love and dissatisfaction for the times the author found themselves living in.

    But maybe my opinion on this should be discounted as in spite of my own love of literature that I developed thanks to my own mother at a very early age my dried up raisin of a womb has failed to provide me with children who will be entering the educational system, making my viewpoint null and void.
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittylady View Post
    I don't see it as trying to 'ram an agenda down their throats' - the class reads the book, they debate it and (with the teacher acting as the impartial mediator) each draw their own conclusions while having dissected the information contained within the story. This also takes in character development and tests the student's understanding of the motivation behind each character and any changes that occur as the story progresses. Debating the issues contained within a book using the characters experiences and views is, in my opinion, a good way to help a student look deeper into the text and understand not only who but also where and when they are reading about.

    To remove books that may have a political slant also rules out a lot of the classics as many of them had an underlying social or political message, often disguised as satire. Just because this is easier to pick up on in books such as Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird doesn't mean that it isn't present in other books as well or that it shouldn't be acknowledged and discussed. Are we to block all books that have an overt or covert commentary relating to issues of the times that they were written or set in? If we do then reading lists will shrink to such a narrow margin of approved texts that we'd be doing a disservice to the students studying them. And again, the use of an underlying message within a book and the motivation of the author in writing it is also a valuable discussion point for students, as well as showing them that a book can be so much more than merely a selection of words strung together in an entertaining fashion. It can be a tool to reach people, to share a message and express both love and dissatisfaction for the times the author found themselves living in.

    But maybe my opinion on this should be discounted as in spite of my own love of literature that I developed thanks to my own mother at a very early age my dried up raisin of a womb has failed to provide me with children who will be entering the educational system, making my viewpoint null and void.

    It's theory. I think it is a lovely and inspirational theory. And I remember reading A Catcher in the Rye which has a similar issue with it. I am not a teacher however I have taught and created lesson plans with other teachers and the students are not caught up in the agenda. I agree with your point to some degree but the word nigger as it was written in Twain's book has absolutely nothing to do with the connotations of the word 'nigger" as it is used in modern context. It becomes a distraction of sorts in the book because of the politicized (is that even a word? LOL) nature of it.

    It is academically dishonest to suggest that Twain would have intended his books to be a commentary on the controversy of the word today.

    And again this is all theory. When you see black and white kids that don't want to read the book because it upsets them I suppose we should ignore their reactions because they must be "stupid" for not wanting to read a book that uses the word so much.

    I suppose what I'm saying is that it seems like people talk about the theories and students as if they are ideas. It's a little different when it's reality. Kudos to your mom for inspiring a life long love of reading in you. As I said, this is the goal of most educators. To turn off readers from the start is a bad idea.
    Last edited by gristledonna; January 6th, 2011 at 12:31 AM.

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    People treat black people this way NOW. It's not ancient history that needs to be taught.
    Earlier in the thread you said that the use of the N word in Huck Finn would make kids "uncomfortable" and was "not necessary" and not reality. Pick a side. Is it uncomfortable and not necessary and they don't need to see it or do they see it every day because race relations are exactly like they were in 1884?

    I'll give you a clue: barring some crazy extraordinary circumstance, I guarantee that not one kid in an American school right now has any concept of what fucking SLAVES went through in the Civil War and Reconstruction. In fact, I bet most schoolkids don't even know what Reconstruction was. And none of them experienced what a former slave like the character of Jim would have. Most of them have only ever heard the N-word used in rap songs and they damn well have no familiarity with post-Civil War river culture as experienced by an abused, homeless kid and former slave.

    As I said much earlier in the thread. You could teach the same lesson with "To Kill a Mockingbird." without the excessive use.
    For God's sake stop saying that. They are NOT THE SAME BOOK. Have you read either, or just perused their Wikis? "Welp, both are about racism, both use the N-word, same thing!" They are different books with different themes, different characters taking place in different eras and settings. They do NOT teach the exact same lesson as they are different books.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoNoRehab View Post
    Earlier in the thread you said that the use of the N word in Huck Finn would make kids "uncomfortable" and was "not necessary" and not reality. Pick a side. Is it uncomfortable and not necessary and they don't need to see it or do they see it every day because race relations are exactly like they were in 1884?

    I'll give you a clue: barring some crazy extraordinary circumstance, I guarantee that not one kid in an American school right now has any concept of what fucking SLAVES went through in the Civil War and Reconstruction. In fact, I bet most schoolkids don't even know what Reconstruction was. And none of them experienced what a former slave like the character of Jim would have. Most of them have only ever heard the N-word used in rap songs and they damn well have no familiarity with post-Civil War river culture as experienced by an abused, homeless kid and former slave.



    For God's sake stop saying that. They are NOT THE SAME BOOK. Have you read either, or just perused their Wikis? "Welp, both are about racism, both use the N-word, same thing!" They are different books with different themes, different characters taking place in different eras and settings. They do NOT teach the exact same lesson as they are different books.

    This is exactly my point. Literature classes are not supposed to be "teaching kids lessons." They are supposed to be about teaching the kids about literature. And I can assure you that a 9th grader probably needs to learn that a lot more than he or she needs to learn "lessons" about racism. That's what I keep saying, why are people trying to make the literature political. The literature should be chosen for the sake of it's quality as literature. Not for it's ability to push an agenda.

    This what I have been saying. I'm trying to be polite. There's no need to get aggressive simply because we have different perspectives.

  6. #51
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    did mikesandy get a new IP?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gristledonna View Post
    The literature should be chosen for the sake of it's quality as literature. Not for it's ability to push an agenda.
    That's why Huck Finn is chosen. It's considered one of the great American novels. It only becomes involved in an agenda when people like you seek to restrict it's use.

    Quote Originally Posted by gristledonna View Post
    I would rather a student read about the black experience of racism from a black writer. So Harper Lee would probably not be something I'd choose either.
    That's ridiculous. Great literature transcends the color of the writer's skin, or their gender, or nationality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msdeb View Post
    did mikesandy get a new IP?
    said that and it called me mean!! This "person's" argument is just as ridiculous and unfounded as the Dream Act one!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gristledonna View Post
    I don't know. While I understand using the vernacular is a way of representing reality. The reality is ugly and racist. And so why should black students be required to read insults about themselves and their heritage just because "that's how people really felt back then." Why should a homosexual have to read the book with the word "faggot" in it as part of mandating reading requirements in public school. Instead of censoring the book, how about we read a different book.

    Twain would probably agree.
    Twain would slap you upside the head.

    The reality is that THIS IS HISTORY. It is a moment in time captured with words. It's the teacher's job to put it in fucking context. Why was this language used? Is it right? What does the word mean in the context it is written? Does the value of the story outweigh the negative impact of the language?

    Same for some book that has "faggot" in it, or any other epithet. It's a teachable moment. Ignoring that teachable moment, NOT reading the book, and whatever other action that leaves the book dusty on the shelf is tantamount to censorship based purely on the fact that it might make some people comfortable.

    if you never EXPLAIN WHY it makes people uncomfortable, that hurdle is never overcome. It's all too easy just to turn away, but you never learn anything doing that.

    Ugh. it's exactly like those retards who went around courthouses and started covering up lady Justice's tits because OMG ITS TITS ON A STATUE, THE CHILDRENNZZZZZZZ!~!!!!
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    It's not mikesandy. It does not appear to be illiterate.

    Shit I was about say this is a teachable moment and saw Grimm used the term already. Now I am frightened that I am thinking like Grimm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msdeb View Post
    did mikesandy get a new IP?
    I don't think its Mikesandy but something is off here. *passes out tinfoil hats*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Twain would slap you upside the head.

    The reality is that THIS IS HISTORY. It is a moment in time captured with words. It's the teacher's job to put it in fucking context. Why was this language used? Is it right? What does the word mean in the context it is written? Does the value of the story outweigh the negative impact of the language?

    Same for some book that has "faggot" in it, or any other epithet. It's a teachable moment. Ignoring that teachable moment, NOT reading the book, and whatever other action that leaves the book dusty on the shelf is tantamount to censorship based purely on the fact that it might make some people comfortable.

    if you never EXPLAIN WHY it makes people uncomfortable, that hurdle is never overcome. It's all too easy just to turn away, but you never learn anything doing that.

    Ugh. it's exactly like those retards who went around courthouses and started covering up lady Justice's tits because OMG ITS TITS ON A STATUE, THE CHILDRENNZZZZZZZ!~!!!!
    I think this is a fantastic point. And I do agree with you in the rest of what you are saying.

    I don't understand the rest of the comments in this thread. I must not be making myself clear. I am not saying to ban the book, or to censor the book. I am addressing the point made in the OP. I can understand if someone feels the book is offensive. I can see why 9th graders might not want to read it. However, my solution to that would be to "read another book." then, not to take out all the offensive words in this book. To me that is just stupid.

    I think I'm not making myself clear or posters here are just itching for a fight because I am not saying censor or ban the book. I don't know how many times I can say that.

    If it is offensive to the students in the class, which I do understand it might be then read a different book. Don't cut out the offensive parts.

    Oh well. I'm bowing out of the thread because I didn't meant to cause a ruckus.

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    I smell bullshit
    Kill him.
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    Hey, whats going on in this thread?

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