Should Offensive Language Be Removed from Works of Classic Literature?

Good morning one and all present here. I extend my warm welcome to everyone who has taken some time apart from their busy schedule to be a part of today’s literature conclave. I deem it my extreme pleasure and honor to be able to have this stage to voice my opinions in front of this gathering.

When we think about books or any other form of literature, what is the first thought that comes into our minds? For most of us, the first thought will be how a work of literature is a combination of expressions and thoughts of the creator behind the work.

The work itself has so much to tell about the thoughts of its author and the creator has the complete liberty to construct his thoughts however they wish to construct. Censoring written works was an early practice during tyrannical rule to control the mob from revolting against the dictators, and it was met with wide resistance and from then censoring in written material was not widely prevalent.

The classics sometimes might contain words and other references that will not be appropriate and suitable for the current political or racial setting for the world and sometimes these inappropriate mentions of certain things in the classics might spark debate in the current world and publishers are taking certain steps to avoid this problem and hence, newly edited version of certain classics are available in the market.

One such example is Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” which was layered by some publishers to make it available for the young readers and to give them a reading experience that saved them the trouble of looking into the controversies regarding certain content in the work, but on the other hand, the n-word was edited out of the work and instead was replaced with the word ‘slave’ which means something else and this leads to a slight change in the context from that of what the author wanted to convey.

The change of the word conceals the fact that there was a period in U.S history where racial bullying was at its peak and when this fact is concealed, it does not add to the reading experience of the reader as it does not highlight the time this piece of literature was set.

There is a debate going on regarding the same and people are pointing out how changing one word or a couple of words is not going to change the fact that the book earlier had mentions of slurs or the fact that the book was set in a time where these were common in society.

In conclusion, I would like to say that some works deserve to be read in the way it was originally written to understand the depth of emotion and expression of the creator and some works are not supposed to be read by children as things might be far too far away from their understanding.

Similar Posts:

Was this article helpful?