Controversy: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Topics: White people, Black people, Nigger Pages: 3 (992 words) Published: February 7, 2008
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a historical fiction that has caused a great deal of controversy. Its frequent use of the N-word has been viewed by many as racist and a cause of the lowering of self esteems for the colored people. The NAACP has specifically targeted this book and urged that it be removed from the required reading list. As much as they claim they are not aiming for censorship, they are doing exactly that by asking for the banning of the book. Knowledgeable students who have been educated in American history when reading the book will have come to the acknowledgement that in the time of slavery, "nigger" was a disparaging word commonly referring to a black person. However, we are no longer in the times of slavery. "Nigger" like any other word can only be interpreted by the way it is taken. I believe this book is in no way offensive, should not be banned, and readers should not be refrained from reading such stories. The constant and over usage of the N-word has been said to lower the self-esteem of children. "The word nigger is in it more than 39 times in the first 35 pages (Grossman)." When I started reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I noticed the word "nigger" arose in almost every other sentence. It in no way hurt my self esteem, but instead made me laugh at how often it was used in those times, how often it's used now, and the modulation of its original meaning in today life. The book is an American Classic. Not only was it adventurous and interesting, but educational in the sense that it clearly depicted past times. "We want to clearly state that it is not our intent to have this or any book censored" said the NAACP, but that is exactly what they are doing. They feel historical context is not properly explained before allowing students to read the book. This is a good point for them because most readers who have a good enough background wont take any offence to the book. With the issue of censorship, disgracing times of...

Cited: Brash, Walter. "An argument against book banning."
Currie, Bennie. "The N-Word and How to Use It." The Chicago Reader. 19. December. 1997
Grossman, Elliot. "Huckleberry Finn target of campaign by NAACP group doesn 't want censorship, but asks book be taken off required-reading lists." The Morning Call.
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