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Posted by on Jan 4, 2011 in Arts & Entertainment, Education, Media, Miscellaneous, Society | 0 comments

Tom Sawyer Censorship (Yeah Again)

Mark Twain once defined a classic as a book people praise but don’t read. It seems that his truism is still quite accurate.

In another of the sadly ironic PC events of the day there will be a new version of Tom Sawyer which will remove ‘offensive words’.

The word nigger (my sincere apologies to those who are offended by the use of this word but it would be sort of hypocritical to condemn censorship by censoring) will be replaced with slave while the world Injun will be removed entirely (not sure if he will now be Native American Joe).

The irony of all of this being, of course, is that one of the main reasonsfor having the word in the novel is for Huck to understand how offensive it is to Jim and for him to recognize his friend as a human being.

There are of course arguments in support of the move. We regularly edit movies for broadcast on television so that they can be seen by a broader audience, so why not do the same with books. I can see a small degree of merit in this. If someone who would not otherwise read the book does so because of the PC version that is a small victory.

But at the same time that reader will not get the full experience of the book as it was written, and that is sad.

Stepping down from my soapbox now.