The Use of the Word - Nigger - in Twain's Novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Use of the Word - Nigger - in Twain's Novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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How would you feel if an author published a book that contained a word that was once used frequently but has now developed into one of the most derogatory and unfriendly things a person can say? Since 1884, when the book was first published, there has been much controversy regarding the use of the word “nigger” in the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. Many people all over the world, predominantly the African-American population, feel that the word demoralizes the Blacks, and feel that the novel should be strongly censored from society. Some say that the constant use of the “n-word” forces the reader to conceive one of the main characters, Jim (Huck’s slave friend), as a buffoon, and it therefore embarrasses the African-American community through the use of stereotype. Although it may be hard for many people to read it without having a negative reaction, the censorship of this American classic would be preposterous. As one reads this novel, one can begin to notice that the main character, Huckleberry Finn, reached a turning point with his troublesome behavior and slowly but surely began to mature and settle down into adulthood. Mark Twain actually used the relationship of Jim and Huck to portray the moral values these characters come to learn and, therefore, his book should not in any way be censored or be kept away from the classrooms. This message is more powerful than the usage of the n-word in the novel.
During the earlier stages of the novel, Huckleberry Finn was a very mischievous, troubled young boy and held a grudge against “sivilized society.” This was distinguishable in the very first page of the novel: “The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was roug...


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...ain, should definitely be taught in every high school classroom. By using the powerful relationship of Huck and Jim, Twain illustrates the morals that these characters had attained during the course of the novel. Tom started off as a troublemaker and turned into a young man that truly cares for his friends, no matter what color skin they had. And Jim turned out to be a caring and compassionate friend that most people back then would have never even thought of. The fact that Mark Twain accomplished all of these feats even with the use of the “n-word” makes the novel even more noteworthy. It should never be prevented from being taught to any student; every student should have the opportunity to read and take in the important messages this book has to offer. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a lifelong American classic that will never fade away in American history.

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