Throughout time, the ways in which people perceive literature can be strongly influenced by the moral standards of their time. Due to this fact, some books that today are considered classics by many have been met with hard opposition from those who found the book unacceptable to their own moral codes. Many classics such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and others alike, have been censored or banned in several places.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been a hotly debated book since it was first published in 1885. According to the American Library Association, it was the fifth most frequently challenged book in the 1990's, over a century after its first publication. While many consider it to be one of the greatest American novels ever written, others see it as crude, vulgar, and racist. Even today, Twain's novel can still spark heated debates about racism.
While most current opposition is race related, the book was originally criticized for its crude dialect. Immediately after its publication in 1885, the Concord Public Library in Concord, Massachusetts banned the book for its harsh language. One official at the library described Twain's book as, "rough, coarse and inelegant,. the whole book being more suited to the slums that to intelligent, respectable people," and another said the book was, "flippant and worthless literature." (Zwick) In a time when most considered elegant language to be one of the foremost keys of respectable literature, a book written entirely in the dialect of an uneducated young boy was thought by many "sophisticated" people to be crude and vulgar. .
While many of the literary sensibilities of the time agreed with the Concord Library Board's assessment of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and commended the committee for its banishment of the novel, some felt that the banishment was completely uncalled for and an embarrassment to the literary culture.