The Controversy Over Censorship In Huckleberry Finn
Throughout the years, conflict with race has set the tone for the flowering and evolution of Americas history. In present day America, racial slurs are uncommon. They are used as a sign of discrimination in a way that is unfamiliar to the ear. Published in 1884, Mark Twain wrote one of the most powerful stories of all time, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which exhibits the intimate dynamic of racism in the time of great agony, injustice, and inequity for African Americans. The word ‘nigger’ appears 219 times throughout the story. (Hudson, 2011) This has provoked a great amount of conflict, and has escalated to the extent in which many schools are forbidding the book; erasing it from grade-school curricula due to the illiberality in context. Years have passed, and racism is now not accepted in many societies, as it was in the 19th century. We forget that Twain used his language to instrument the behavior of society. Language serves as a link to historical culture. Removing the word would remove the significance of why it was ever placed there. (Bouie 2011)
For years now, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been ceasing rapidly from school curricula because of the use of the word ‘nigger’. Instead of banning the book, the idea of changing the word from “nigger” to “slave” has been issued. Alan Gribben, an english professor at Auburn University, proposed this idea to the publisher in hopes that more schools could persist in using Mark Twain’s writing as an educational source and in trust that this addition would manage the growth of the roots of the book once again. Gribben once wrote, “even at the level of college and graduate school, students are capable of resenting textual encounters with this racial appellative.” (Gribben, 2011) Substituting the word does nothing essential to the aspect of understanding our failures. Avoiding the fruitless actions of the past does not gain justice, awareness,...
References: Bouie, J. (2011). Taking the History out of ‘Huck Finn.’ The Atlantic. Retrieved from
Chabon, M. (2011). The Unspeakable, in Its Jammies. The Atlantic. Retrieved from
Crane, J. (2011 February 8). There shouldn’t be a controversy over Huck.
The Corning Observer
Huchinson, E. (2011 January 5). Why the N-word should stay in ‘Huck Finn’. The Grio.
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