Tag: Stephen King’s It

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Censorship: A Literary Tug of War

Censorship is everywhere and the general assumption is that it’s for the utmost moral reasoning. From a young age, people instantly recognize the bleeps on TV and know they weren’t supposed to hear the naughty words coming from the screen. It’s so ingrained in us so young that no one thinks to question it until adulthood. People go through an equal amount of experiences that hopefully allowed their skin to thicken to such things no rational person would pepper into a child’s ever-developing brain. However, there is indeed a large divide between an obscenity being blurted out and something much more obtrusive to the artist’s vision. While censorship can have some positive benefits to it, just like an egg in a frying pan the degree set can quickly burn away everything that was worthwhile.

When it comes to the world of literature, censorship can often steers away from the moral standpoint that is practically the sole principle that holds the whole idea together. I’m focusing on American Literature specifically because I feel this is where it’s the most contentious, which brings us to the grandaddy of timeless American classics: Mark Twain. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a ton of different controversial themes are painted in a more starkly realistic light. The poor downtrodden of the south, race relations of the time, child abuse, con artistry, slave liberation, racial acceptance, and to put it bluntly, the perfuse usage of the N word are all covered through the novel. At the time the book was being heavily criticized and censored to the point where some regional copies of the book were redacted to change what offended many members of Twain’s audience. What were these people trying to keep away from the younger eyes of all the controversial subjects listed? The diction of some of the characters.

image via medium

The whole novel takes place in the south where ostensibly people speak ‘funny’ as Twain once put it in some of his travel writing. Twain didn’t write the dialogue of Huck Finn the way he did out of malice but for accuracy. He believed that if his characters spoke authentically in their respective regions that it would drive the points the novel was making about how people treat one another that much further. A very effective way to reflect in real life is to make a distinct but subtle connection between the two, acting as a conduit for the readers.

Twain brilliantly chose the manner in which different characters spoke to make the world of Huck Finn feel as real and at times subtly tragic to the world he and his contemporaries inhabited. His critics on the other hand believed that the use of diction would instil bad grammar and speech in the youth. All while completely missing the point of the novel which was a grand statement on race that wouldn’t be too different from an abolitionist pamphlet, at least in a didactic sense.

As a result, the book was censored in a way that would fly over most people’s heads. Obviously, through modern eyes, the N word would be the focal point of the issue but for the popularity of the timeless novel. What shuts down that argument is that despite the word, the usage it drives home the point of how people interact with each other. Huck admires Jim as a father figure even though he uses the word just as much as the other characters do but Huck’s intentions are ultimately altruistic as he fights to set him free in the end. All of this brave content would’ve been lost had the censorship gone further and in fact, the argument against the book’s usage of the racial slur still comes up today. Once more with good intentions, these critics miss the point as to why it’s used.

Mark Twain

image via Smithsonian Mag

With a plethora of increasingly graphic content in books as well as other mediums ever-growing, this serves as a good example of when the purest idea of censorship can get muddled under issues that are fueled by a lack of understanding. The art suffers tenfold when people try to censor anything under the guise that the minds of the youth shall not be tainted by the content adults take for granted. When it’s not backed for the right reasons, the public doctors the novelist’s thoughts to something that more resembles a vivisection as opposed to a gulp of medicine.

If authors aren’t allowed to reasonably explore differing and oftentimes difficult subject matters then that alone can sully the minds of the youth as those ideas explored encourage them to etch out the literary landscape further. Stagnation of forethought is infinitely worse than any diction a southerner can muster. While censorship can help, I reiterate, in some disturbing scenes that I won’t go into detail about in say, Stephen King’s It, the line between safe tinkering via the masses and displaying the woes of mankind is finely drawn. Censorship can indeed be beneficial but only under just cause as well as forbearance for the sake of the message the world needs to witness.

Feature image via Flickr

9 of the Best Literary Halloween Costume Ideas for 2019

Halloween is approaching fast and the time is nigh for costume planning! It’s time for us nerds to shine. Let’s pull out all the stops and don the best for 2019!

To hell with the zombies, sexy nurses, and my GOD if I see one more Harley Quinn I’ll…(no disrespect for Harley though, gotta love her!) You understand though. Let’s be original people!

Here are the nine best Halloween costumes for 2019!

 

 

9. Nosferatu – Vic or Manx

 

images via Amc

 

There’s been a lot of people talking about the new show Nos4A2, a crime and horror tale that puts a spin on the Vampire genre. The show is based on the 2013 novel by Joe Hill, NOS4A2. It tells the thrilling story of Vic McQueen, a woman with supernatural abilities, who crosses paths with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx—a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children and then sends them to another realm. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims.

Halloween is always a great time for Vampires and monsters, but now it doesn’t have to be a last minute excuse for a costume. Go all out and replicate your favorite character’s costume, or just throw on some fangs.

 

8. Pennywise

 

images via fox & Literary Hub

 

It wouldn’t be Halloween if there wasn’t something scary, but people’s sense of horror are so different nowadays. For some, a bloodthirsty, supernatural demonic being will bring on nightmares, but for others, a simple clown with a bad case of the flesh-eating munchies will scare them to death!

So pick your clown, grab some balloons, and be ready to show off those pearly whites!

 

7. The Joker

 

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Image via CinemaBlend

 

This Halloween may be the perfect time for clowns to make a comeback! Not only did we have the It: Chapter 2 released, but we have another film coming out that’s centered around a crazy clown. This October 4th, DC will be releasing the highly anticipated film Joker. Have him dancing, cracking jokes, or trying to take over Gotham City, the Joker is the perfect choice for Halloween!

 

 

 

6. Miles Morales

 

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Image via SyFy Wire

 

With the deal between Sony and Marvel being cut, fans of the MCU may have to say good-bye to the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. However, not all is lost for fans of both the comics and films—we still have the Spiderverse and, most importantly, Miles Morales! Everyone talks about the original webslinger, Peter Parker, or one of the others Spider-Men (or should I say people), Gwen Stacy, but Miles Morales needs a little more loving, making him a fantastic and original choice for a Halloween costume!

 

 

 

5. Game Of Thrones (Family Costume)

 

Images via TVweb and Sporcle

 

Bring the whole family together this Halloween by dressing up as your favorite family from Game of Thrones! Every family has their issues, and this Halloween you can enjoy the relief of realizing that your family is not as bad as most of these families…I hope.

 

4. The Witcher

 

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Image via Reddit

 

Fantasy and gaming fans have a lot to look forward to this December with Netflix’s series The Witcher being released. Unleash your inner beast hunter by donning the armor of Geralt of Rivia. The origin of Halloween was to dress up to ward away evil spirits, with this costume ward away your fear of evil spirits, clowns, immortal beings prying on children, and just about anything else!

 

3. Riverdale

 

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image via Moviephone

 

Riverdale is hot right now, and, no, I’m not talking about the steamy scenes. So if you’re addicted to the teenage, crime, mystery drama, and are thinking about going with a less horrifying costume, why not something from Riverdale? There’s a choice for everyone: the jock, the prep, the princess, the delinquent, and the serial killer too!

 

2. Edgar Allan Poe

 

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image via Lansing State Journal

 

Edgar Allan Poe had a huge impact on writing and on numerous writers. Til this day he still remains a huge part of our culture and this year especially brought some well deserved attention to the master of macabre. There was not only a Pop figure of him created, but also several YA authors reimagined his work, translating his tales into the modern age. All of this just goes to show that Poe is loved more than ever before, so don his likeness this Halloween and you’ll be the talk of midnight, forever-more!

 

1. Good Omens (couple costume, because we know they are OTP!)

 

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image via Refinery29

 

Every Halloween party needs a good couple’s cosplay, but if you haven’t found the Crowley to your Aziraphale, your prayers could be answered this Halloween!

 

If none these costume ideas are book nerdy enough for you, you can always try your hand at creating an Em Dash costume.

 

Featured Image via The Fandomentals