Tag: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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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

135 Years of ‘Huckleberry Finn’

“Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.” – Goodreads 

Image Via Time

Mark Twain (real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens), was born on Nov. 30th in the small town of Florida, MO as the sixth child to John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. When Samuel was twelve, his father died of pneumonia, and Samuel was forced to leave school to become a printer’s apprentice.

Samuel found his enjoyment of writing when he began working for Orion’s newspaper as a printer and editorial assistant. By the time he was seventeen, Samuel had left Orion’s newspaper to work for a printer in St. Louis. There he became a river pilot, which is where he adopted his pseudonym, Mark Twain, a term used by river pilots to mean “that is safe to navigate”(CMG World Wide).

 

 

Due to the lull in river trade during the Civil War in 1861, “Clemens began working as a newspaper reporter for several newspapers all over the United States”, according to CMG World Wide. Seven years later, Samuel married a woman named Olivia Langdon, and the two had four children, one of whom died in infancy, and two more in their twenties. Clara, their only surviving child, lived to be 88 years of age, with one daughter. Unfortunately, Clara’s daughter died young without having any children of her own, leaving no living descendants of Samuel Clemens.

Image Via Medium

Twain’s legacy survives, however, through his books, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck Finn, as it’s often called, has been taught in schools as one of the most famous works of literature. Below is a book summary:

“A nineteenth-century boy from a Mississippi River town recounts his adventures as he travels down the river with a runaway slave, encountering a family involved in a feud, two scoundrels pretending to be royalty, and Tom Sawyer’s aunt who mistakes him for Tom.” – Goodreads

 

 

Although it is the most famous, Huck Finn, is also very controversial. It turns up in the news more often than you think for being banned or restored in the school systems. On its anniversary, I encourage you to dive in and obtain a little bit of Mark Twain’s legacy.

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Featured Image Via National Post

The Impact These 2 ‘Coming of Age’ Novels Had on Me

How do books touch us in such profound ways?

The impact that books have on readers has a lot to do with the time in their lives at which people read them. When the narrative of a book aligns with or mirrors the experience a reader is going through, a powerful lasting impression is left upon that person. When I first read J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye in my sophomore year of high school, I connected with the main character Holden Caulfield immediately. His mental dilemma regarding the authenticity of the adult world was a topic I identified with so easily. Holden is a character that is the embodiment of genuineness, and made The Catcher in the Rye one of my favorite books of all time.

 

It’s hard not to wonder how differently someone would react to a book if they had simply read it in a different time in their life. These are the two books that had the most profound impact on me growing up and have taught me essential lessons.

 

The Giver by Lois Lowry

 

Image Via Amazon

The Giver is set in the perspective of an eleven-year-old boy, Jonas, living in a world devoid of war, hatred, pain, and fear. Because everybody acts the same and looks the same, there is no prejudice. There is no color. The world is also devoid of choice, as when every child turns twelve, they are assigned a job based on their talents and abilities. This book is generally part of middle school English curriculums, and is perfect for students at that age as it emphasizes the value of the contrast between pleasure and pain, and the importance of individuality.

I first read this book when I was thirteen years old. As a kid, I never knew the importance of pain and suffering, until I read The Giver. It put into perspective how crucial grief, heartache, and unhappiness should be in my life. A world without pain is ultimately a world unable to advance. Emotion is the foundation of individual growth, and this book played a big part of my maturation. As I got older, and experienced emotionally burdening moments, I would always think back to this book and what it taught me about how dealing with your sentiments is so vital. Somebody on the verge of their teenage years will truly understand why pain and suffering in this world is necessary for individual growth after reading this classic novel.

 

 

The Adventures of HuckleBerry Finn by Mark Twain

 

Image Via PBS

The foundation for bildungsromans, or ‘coming of age; novels, this book follows the protagonist, Huck, maturing as he goes through different experiences in his life. The novel primarily presents him as an immature boy, goofing around and playing tricks with his good friend Tom Sawyer. He has good intentions, but a moral sense that is misshapen by the society in which he was raised. He is constantly in a battle with himself, as he is constantly hard on himself when he does not turn in a runaway slave, Jim, as though that would be the right thing to do. Yet, as the novel progresses, so does Huck’s conception of what is right and wrong. He learns that many codes of conduct such as Christianity don’t necessarily produce good actions. By the end of the book, Huck is realistic and mature, while Tom still has a lot of developing to do. This book is the embodiment of independent self growth, and arguably the most perceptive coming of age novel of all time, especially taking into consideration its 1884 release date.

 

This book taught me that questioning every aspect of life is essential in creating your own unique frame of mind. Mark Twain shows the reader from the beginning of the novel that Huck is a boy who comes from the most dire conditions of white society. His father is a drunk who constantly vanishes for months on end. Furthermore, Huck himself is continually homeless. Although characters throughout the book attempt to reform Huck, he resists their efforts and maintains his independence. His experiences and instincts as he continues his adventures make him question everything he has learned from the society around him. According to the law at the time, the runaway slave Jim was Miss Watson’s property. But Huck’s judgment and fairness allowed him do the right thing and help Jim out. His actions go against the basic foundation of his society at the time, but in context they are faithful. Questioning is essential to intellectual growth, especially at a young age, because it allows you to develop your own personality. This book taught me to live, rather than to merely exist, or to become a critically thinking human being, rather than just a pawn in society.

 

 

Featured Image Via Inquiries Journal

 

"Happy Hour": 3 cartoon alcoholic beverages smile, as if not knowing they will soon be consumed

Booze & Books(tr): 7 Cocktail Pairings to Get You Lit(erary)

It’s Thirsty Thursday, and Bookstr is bringing you Booze & Books, our newest weekly feature dedicated to drinking games and booze-book pairings. This week, we’re bringing you another booze & book pairing. Our recommendation? Any booze and any book. Since that’s a little too general, we’re going to be paring classic & popular novels with cocktails to help you get what all the buzz is about. Admittedly, some of these cocktails are pretty vile. But since vile people often feature heavily in books, the drinks make for appropriate pairings. (That is, these cocktails are nasty unless you actually WANT to put milk into beer. If you do, you may be one of the aforementioned vile people.)

So, friends, read up & drink up. By the end of this list, these pages won’t be the only thing turnt.

Remember: drink responsibly and read voraciously!

 

1. The Great Gatsby – Long Island iced Tea

 

'The Great Gatsby' & Long Island Iced Tea

Images Via Amazon & liquor.com

 

Ingredients: Gin, white rum, silver tequila, vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, lemon juice, cola. Alternatively, whatever you found in your mom’s cabinets dumped into the sublte water bottle that clearly no longer contains water.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I pair The Great Gatsby with a classy beverage, like a Tom Collins or anything with an umbrella in it? It’s pretty simple—Gatsby’s not all that classy of a guy. He may have some serious panache, but in the end, he’s new-money who likes to show off what he’s got: the biggest house, the best parties, the hottest ride. It all seems romantic because it’s set in the roaring 20s, but if this were the 2000s Gatsby was after a girl who went to the Ivies while he got a practical degree at State, you know he’d be trying to impress her with his McMansion and excessive Instagram stories of his house parties. ESPECIALLY given that the novel is set on Long Island, a place that may as well have been named after the drink.

Also, a Long Island Iced Tea will get you drunk, which is maybe the only thing you’ll have in common with this cast of high-society characters.

 

 

2. Landline – 1-900-FUK-MEUP

 

'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell & 1-900-FUK-MEUP

Images Via Amazon & Drinking.land

 

Ingredients: Absolut Kurant, Grand Marnier, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Midori melon liqueur, Malibu rum, Amaretto, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, whatever tears you have left to cry. 

‘1-900-FUK-MEUP’ is an accurate description, both of the story and what the story does to our fragile little hearts. If you’re not familiar with this newer release from #1 bestselling author Rainbow Rowell, the gist is that Georgie, a TV writer in a failing marriage, discovers a way to communicate with her husband—a phone that makes calls to the past. It seems like a second chance, an opportunity to talk to a younger Neal and fix the problems in their marriage before they begin. But maybe fixing the relationship isn’t the thing Georgie is supposed to do. Maybe she’s supposed to prevent it from happening. Emotional, right? Drink up.

 

3. The Metamorphosis – A Short Trip to Hell

 

'The Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka & A Short Trip to Hell

Image Via Amazon & Relish.com

 

Ingredients: Peach, strawberry, and wildberry Schnapps, Red Bull, Jägermeister, profound existential pain.

At only fifty-five pages, Franz Kafka’s novelette is a short trip down into the blackest depths of human consciousness. If you can for a moment forget that you’re alone in the world and strapped to a mortal body that may never reflect your internal self-perception, Kafka is here to make sure you remember. We’re all just bugs on this Earth, baby!

 

4. Equus – Horse Jizz

 

'Equus' & Horse Jizz

Image Via Amazon & PROOF.MEDIA

 

Ingredients: Beer, milk, a sudden loss of dignity.

Whether or not you’ve read Equus, just look at that cover and tell me the pairing doesn’t work.

Also, don’t Google search ‘horse jizz.’

 

5. The Old Man and the Sea – The Old Man and tHE sEA 

 

'The Old Man and The Sea' & Drunken Sailor

Image Via Amazon & Chilled magazine

 

Ingredients: Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, lime juice, grapefruit juice, years of substance abuse.

Of course Hemingway, literary icon and known drunk, would have a cocktail named after his own work—an accomplishment that, while less impressive than naming a university wing after yourself, may or may not be cooler. Back in 1935, a mystery man in a Cuban bar downed a daiquiri that was left sitting unattended (classy move, E.H.). His response was as to-the-point as his dialogue: “that’s good, but I prefer it without sugar and double rum.”

Apparently, the reason Hemingway wanted less sugar was so he could drink more of them—which makes him as relatable as he was talented.

 

6. GOOD OMENS – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

 

'Good Omens' Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett & The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Images Via aMAZON & tiPSY bARTENDER

 

Ingredients: Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Jameson, Johnnie Walker Black, Bacardi 151, at least one bad idea.

Listen: a flaming shot is a beverage that was not created for the flavor. If you start your night off drinking one of these, you’re going to be getting into some shenanigans. And shenanigans is basically the plot of Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett’s Good Omensshenanigans and the End of Days, which are, apparently, exactly the same thing. So why not drink this one at the end of the world? When you wake up the morning after, it’s going to feel like the apocalypse anyway.

 

 

7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Fearless Redneck

 

'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' & Fearless Redneck

Images Via Amazon & Inside Tailgating

 

Ingredients: Jim Beam Black Label Bourbon, Sobe No Fear energy drink, a blatant disregard for your own mortality.

You’ve got to be pretty fearless to start smoking at the age of eleven.

 

 

All In-text Images Made With PhotoCollage.
Featured Image Via Giphy.

"Happy Hour": 3 cartoon alcoholic beverages smile, as if not knowing they will soon be consumed

Booze & Books(tr): 7 Cocktail Pairings to Get You Lit(erary)

It’s Thirsty Thursday, and Bookstr is bringing you Booze & Books, our newest weekly feature dedicated to drinking games and booze-book pairings. This week, we’re bringing you another booze & book pairing. Our recommendation? Any booze and any book. Since that’s a little too general, we’re going to be paring classic & popular novels with cocktails to help you get what all the buzz is about. Admittedly, some of these cocktails are pretty vile. But since vile people often feature heavily in books, the drinks make for appropriate pairings. (That is, these cocktails are nasty unless you actually WANT to put milk into beer. If you do, you may be one of the aforementioned vile people.)
So, friends, read up & drink up. By the end of this list, these pages won’t be the only thing turnt.
Remember: drink responsibly and read voraciously!
 

1. The Great Gatsby – Long Island iced Tea

 
'The Great Gatsby' & Long Island Iced Tea

Images Via Amazon & liquor.com

 
Ingredients: Gin, white rum, silver tequila, vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, lemon juice, cola. Alternatively, whatever you found in your mom’s cabinets dumped into the sublte water bottle that clearly no longer contains water.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I pair The Great Gatsby with a classy beverage, like a Tom Collins or anything with an umbrella in it? It’s pretty simple—Gatsby’s not all that classy of a guy. He may have some serious panache, but in the end, he’s new-money who likes to show off what he’s got: the biggest house, the best parties, the hottest ride. It all seems romantic because it’s set in the roaring 20s, but if this were the 2000s Gatsby was after a girl who went to the Ivies while he got a practical degree at State, you know he’d be trying to impress her with his McMansion and excessive Instagram stories of his house parties. ESPECIALLY given that the novel is set on Long Island, a place that may as well have been named after the drink.
Also, a Long Island Iced Tea will get you drunk, which is maybe the only thing you’ll have in common with this cast of high-society characters.
 
 

2. Landline – 1-900-FUK-MEUP

 
'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell & 1-900-FUK-MEUP

Images Via Amazon & Drinking.land

 
Ingredients: Absolut Kurant, Grand Marnier, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Midori melon liqueur, Malibu rum, Amaretto, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, whatever tears you have left to cry. 
‘1-900-FUK-MEUP’ is an accurate description, both of the story and what the story does to our fragile little hearts. If you’re not familiar with this newer release from #1 bestselling author Rainbow Rowell, the gist is that Georgie, a TV writer in a failing marriage, discovers a way to communicate with her husband—a phone that makes calls to the past. It seems like a second chance, an opportunity to talk to a younger Neal and fix the problems in their marriage before they begin. But maybe fixing the relationship isn’t the thing Georgie is supposed to do. Maybe she’s supposed to prevent it from happening. Emotional, right? Drink up.
 

3. The Metamorphosis – A Short Trip to Hell

 
'The Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka & A Short Trip to Hell

Image Via Amazon & Relish.com

 
Ingredients: Peach, strawberry, and wildberry Schnapps, Red Bull, Jägermeister, profound existential pain.
At only fifty-five pages, Franz Kafka’s novelette is a short trip down into the blackest depths of human consciousness. If you can for a moment forget that you’re alone in the world and strapped to a mortal body that may never reflect your internal self-perception, Kafka is here to make sure you remember. We’re all just bugs on this Earth, baby!
 

4. Equus – Horse Jizz

 
'Equus' & Horse Jizz

Image Via Amazon & PROOF.MEDIA

 
Ingredients: Beer, milk, a sudden loss of dignity.
Whether or not you’ve read Equus, just look at that cover and tell me the pairing doesn’t work.
Also, don’t Google search ‘horse jizz.’
 

5. The Old Man and the Sea – The Old Man and tHE sEA 

 
'The Old Man and The Sea' & Drunken Sailor

Image Via Amazon & Chilled magazine

 
Ingredients: Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, lime juice, grapefruit juice, years of substance abuse.
Of course Hemingway, literary icon and known drunk, would have a cocktail named after his own work—an accomplishment that, while less impressive than naming a university wing after yourself, may or may not be cooler. Back in 1935, a mystery man in a Cuban bar downed a daiquiri that was left sitting unattended (classy move, E.H.). His response was as to-the-point as his dialogue: “that’s good, but I prefer it without sugar and double rum.”
Apparently, the reason Hemingway wanted less sugar was so he could drink more of them—which makes him as relatable as he was talented.
 

6. GOOD OMENS – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

 
'Good Omens' Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett & The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Images Via aMAZON & tiPSY bARTENDER

 
Ingredients: Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Jameson, Johnnie Walker Black, Bacardi 151, at least one bad idea.
Listen: a flaming shot is a beverage that was not created for the flavor. If you start your night off drinking one of these, you’re going to be getting into some shenanigans. And shenanigans is basically the plot of Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett’s Good Omensshenanigans and the End of Days, which are, apparently, exactly the same thing. So why not drink this one at the end of the world? When you wake up the morning after, it’s going to feel like the apocalypse anyway.
 
 

7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Fearless Redneck

 
'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' & Fearless Redneck

Images Via Amazon & Inside Tailgating

 
Ingredients: Jim Beam Black Label Bourbon, Sobe No Fear energy drink, a blatant disregard for your own mortality.
You’ve got to be pretty fearless to start smoking at the age of eleven.
 
 
All In-text Images Made With PhotoCollage.
Featured Image Via Giphy.