Mark Twain Controversy

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Everyone remembers reading the works of Mark Twain when they were in school. Freshman year of high school you’re sitting in your English class and the teacher is reading the story of Huckleberry Finn. As you go through the story, you start to think, “Wow, people actually treated other humans this way?” and you realize how cruel it really is. It teaches you that discrimination is not right and everyone deserves to be equal. Now just imagine never having read that book, never feeling the sympathy for the people that you felt, and never learning the lessons you learned from it.

Ever since their publications over a century ago, the novels of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer have been very controversial and have caused many arguments. The style and slang that Mark Twain used was, at the time, acceptable and normal to people who lived in the South, where the Black race was frowned upon. In the book Huckleberry Finn, the word “nigger” is used a total of 219 times. However, now-a-days when Blacks are equal to everyone, the word “nigger” is found offensive to some and emotional to others. If you know anything about Mark Twain as a person, you know that, in his opinion, slavery was “an abomination” (Uba). Now the question remains if it is ethically right to teach these stories in a classroom with the slang originally used in them. It would be wrong to take out the word “nigger” and replace it with slave because, by taking out the original style of writing and slang used, you take out the historical background that make these stories so unique. This is important because the whole reason that you read those books in the first place is to get a good view of where our nation actually started in comparison to where it is now.

The world we live in today is intensely different from the world during the time Huckleberry Finn was written. The world we live in is sugar-coated compared to the one then. By changing the slang in these books, you would not only be making them...
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