Huckleberry Finn Language

Decent Essays
The novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain in 1884, soon after the Civil War. By then, treating blacks as slaves and calling them the n-word was unacceptable; however, the effects of racism still stung (Matthews). By using realistic dialogue in his novel, Twain illustrates racial inequality in the 1800’s. Since censoring the original language would minimize the strength of Twain’s message and cover up the unfortunate truths, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be taught as it was written in classrooms.
One strength in the original manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the use of language. By taking away the original words, with which Twain created historically realistic dialogue, the reader would lose one of the key messages of the book (Nelson). By Twain using derogatory terms in reference to blacks, specifically the n-word, he is able to paint a picture of how blacks were treated then. As an author, Twain’s goal was to reveal the harsh truths rather than to be politically
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Rather than censoring the n-word, there should be an emphasis on the usage and history of the n-word (Smiley). The novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn could potentially be used as a vehicle for discussions regarding race . Twain intentionally uses the n-word to galvanize the reader and rouse feelings of shock and offense (Smiley). He wants readers to discuss the horror of the word and the damage it can cause (Matthews). However, by removing the word, one is completely avoiding this discussion and loses out on this message. Students today must understand the racism, slavery, and violence towards blacks throughout American history. This will help students, the future of America, to recognize the injustices of the past and hold them responsible for making changes in the future
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