Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Huck Finn vs. Tupac vs. Biggie

                      After paging through the Arac book again, I think what has stuck with me the most is this term of “idolatry” that he pairs with Huck Finn. I definitely agree that over time we have raised this book up on a pedestal a bit higher than what it should be. However, I’m not saying that the novel isn’t important or isn’t worth debate and analysis. I tried to think of other things that we idolized over time in American society, and one thought always came back to me as I was writing this post. Just as American society has idolized Huck Finn as the “quintessential” novel that describes our Americanness, can be comparable to the debate between which rapper is better: Tupac Shakur, or the Notorious B.I.G. This debate is one that has given both deceased artists a legacy and debate that has gone on for over eight years. Many hip-hop enthusiasts get into arguments about whose topics, verse structure, and overall song writing was better. It may not seem like I’m going anywhere with this, but I think it’s interesting to point out the type of things that we idolize in our American society. Writing rap music about money, women, and power that a great majority of people adore and love can be compared to the seemingly “racist” nature that Huck Finn is said to have come from. However, I don’t think American society and American literature would be the same without Huck Finn, just as I think rap music as we see it today would of ever gave opportunities to multiple artists without the few albums created by Tupac and Biggie. I agree with Arac when he says that we cannot let this idolatry shadow what the book stands for, and how our history has shaped the criticism over time because we’ve always known it to be a “great” book. 


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