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Vern Crisler <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 17:19:01 -0700
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At 03:36 PM 3/1/98 -0500, MRS MARY L CHRISTMAS wrote:

>Salisbury, however, is quick to point out that the response to the NAACP's
>call has been "tepid." Salisbury also goes on to discuss _Huck Finn_ in its
>historical context, and also points out that "Jim, in fact, is the only
>whole human being in _Huckleberry Finn_..."--an insight that is not news to
>Twain scholars (and literate others), but would likely come as a surprise
>to those who would judge a book they have not even read.

Hmmm.  Huck Finn isn't a whole human being?  Tom Sawyer isn't a whole human
being?  With all due respect, I think Salisbury's interpretation is simply
an overreaction to the reasons being offered for censoring Huckleberry
Finn--that it's racist, that it uses the "n" word, and on and on.  But a
literary judgment should be based on what a piece of literature actually
says or portrays--come what may--not upon some desire to come up with a
feel-good response that will satisfy the large and wide maw of the
politically correct--for that inquisitorial ambition known as political
correctness chews up everything in its path without being in the least

The truth is that Jim, Huck, and Tom are at various times human and
clownish; their primary purpose being to serve Twain's twin interests of
telling a good, full story and lacing it with his trademark humor.


Vern Crisler
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