Last Updated 13 Jul 2020

Use of n Word in Huck Finn

Category Censorship
Essay type Research
Words 920 (3 pages)
Views 460

Others debate that it makes people uncomfortable and prevents them from reading this great piece of American literature. The people who believe that the original text should be edited, focus their discontent on the racial tone of the language. The fact that the racial insult makes many people feel uncomfortable, is one of the main reasons they feel that way. In the article by Philip Rails, the scholar Alan Cribber says, "It's a shame that one word should be a barrier between a marvelous reading experience and a lot of readers"'(Rails 1).

That Is exactly what people feel the word "Niger is In Huckleberry Finn. It acts as a barrier for people who find It uncomfortable to read, and prevents them from comprehending the writing. In the article "Houck Finn goes clean In new publication" by Analyzer, an English teacher expresses why she doesn't think Its k to use the word. When you're using slurs - racial slurs, gender slurs, homosexuality slurs - I think you're victimizing people" (Layer 3). It is very true that blacks in America could get offended if you say the word in a classroom or they read it in the novel.

It probably reminds them of the hard times their ancestors went through or puts them into stereotype that they don't think they belong in. It is very easy for people to become uncomfortable with an insult like the word in Houck Finn. The English teacher in Layer's article also says, remember when I first read it in 1986 and I was thinking, 'Oh, wow. The racial slur Is problematic" (Layer 2). Like many people, she feels as though "slave" would be more acceptable. It would make people feel more at ease and able to actually read the book without a distracting word.

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Teachers definitely do not want their students to be Immature about the n-word, especially if there are blacks in the classroom. If the students wouldn't be mature about it, it would be nice to have another choice. Readers, students and teachers also should have a choice in what they want to read. If they have the book with in it and don't want it, they should be able to choose what they want. As long as they are comfortable and do not distract or offend the reader than the point of the book is shown. While the reasons for replacing the slur are reasonable, people are still tryingly against censoring Houck Finn.

They feel as though removing the insult would compensate what had happened in the past. The way we treated the slaves was extremely harsh and this Is a way America can remember as well as refrain from making a mistake Like that In the future. Another reason readers don't want to censor the novel Is the fact that they are censoring a major novel. In the article "Why a new edition of Houck Finn Is... " By Alexandra Petri, Petri discusses her displeasure with the censorship of the novel. She says, "This is like turning Death of a Salesman into room Heart of Darkness - or all the darkness" (Petri).

Even Mark Twain himself said about the difference between "slave" and "Niger" is "the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning" (Controversy as new edition... ). If they censor American literature, what will be next? Many argue that they don't know where the removing of all things bad will stop. Great deals of readers think that the racial slur is crucial to how the readers interpret the whole story. In the article, "Houck Finn goes clean... " An English professor explains how important it is to be shaken and feel uncomfortable with the word "Niger" (Layer).

It depicts the time period in which it happened accurately, and though it wasn't, and still isn't, something that is acceptable, it still brings out the point of the novel. Mark Twain put the word in there for a purpose, not Just to do it. He uses it to bring out some of the satire. Petri says in her article that regardless of the fact that slavery was in full throttle, "Mark Twain was still able to use satire to show how wrong it was" (Petri). Granted, the usage of the word "Niger" was normal in that time period, but now the satire Twain uses seems al the more relevant.

His satire is still shown to this very day. Also, the characters would not have said "slave", it is more realistic if Houck was to say "Niger" because, to him, that's what a slave was. It was completely normal, whether we think it was or not. All in all, the choice is up to the readers. If the reader feels that the "n" word is too offensive to read, the option to read a different word should be open to them. We can't distract people from the meaning of the story if they get disgruntled and embarrassed.

No one has the right to deny someone fondness when reading a book. The novel is partially about striving for freedom. While freedom comes with a price, shouldn't everyone have the freedom to choose which way they want to read something? However, it is also important to know that the word was there in the first place. It is true that the story could lose its meaning by taking out what makes the satire so uncomfortable. The word is an important part of the story, but if people understand it than why are they not allowed to enjoy the piece that people admire so much?

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Use of n Word in Huck Finn. (2017, Nov 12). Retrieved from

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