Free Huck Finn

Free Huck Finn

Free Huck Finn

The N-word was used 219 times in the American classic ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain. It was first published in 1884 but the time period for the story was before the Civil War; roughly 1835–1845. The theme of this well-worn, much loved book is racism and slavery; intellectual and moral education; and the hypocrisy of a ‘civilized’ society. If that’s the case, why would you want to scrub the 219 N-words used in the text, that actually demonstrate the very wrongs of racism in the first place?

A Few Thoughts.

If you want to expose racists, you have to show racists as they are, speaking as they would speak. ‘Huck Finn’ is great with this because it requires the reader to actually work through what’s wrong with a society that gives the most noble character in it – the slave, Jim – the same rights as pigs and chickens. Is the N-word and what’s behind it too hard to teach to kids in our schools? That’s where I first read ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’. If that’s the case, it’s wrong. Our schools should engage this shameful history because it’s a story that should be told.

Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain was a precise word-smith. He meant to use the N-word in his classics. It was utterly descriptive in expressing the racism of the day. In part, it’s what made Huck Finn, Huck Finn. What right do we have to change his work?

I understand that because there is still racism today, that for some the presence of the n-word in the book is offensive and even painful. But sanitizing the book is a poor attempt to change history. Using ‘slave’ instead of the N-word seems a weak and very PC attempt at making the theme of the book taste better.

Besides, you wouldn’t want to empower a black child – we want to ensure that black children will forever be subjugated by a word. Right?

By the way, the sanitized edition is scheduled for print soon. Thankfully, its not as though the original versions of this American classic disappear as a result of its existence.

Will we be sanitizing this too? Just curious.

50 Cent – Realest Nigga

Free Huck Finn.

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  • Jennifer says:

    All this is for nothing. It’s just fluffy PC or to soothe white guilt or some racist black person spearheading this. Do they think by erasing the N word that everyone won’t use it anymore? How dumb is that? If we are ever to move past racism in this country, we need to quit acting like slavery never happened.

  • DAX says:

    Mark Twain would be rolling over in his grave over all of this. This is ridiculous! Never mind that the N word is used all over the place in rap music. Where is the PC outrage in that? Where is the African American outrage in that? In Rap music the N word is not even used as a teaching tool. In “Huck Finn”, when properly taught with the context of the era in which it takes place, its a teaching moment. This is pure PC idiocy.

  • Corbin says:

    “The difference between the right word, and the almost right word, is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.” -Mark Twain

  • Nikki says:

    It’s my understanding that the new Huck Finn has a preface that explains all this.
    IMHO, this is more akin to reading Dante or Livy in translation– no, you don’t get the author’s original words, but you hopefully get a good approximation of the meaning. (And in this case, the way I see it, the “translation” of Twain may actually be closer to Twain’s meaning than the current meaning of the “n” word.)

  • Andrew's_Alley says:

    Trying to make the past politically correct is wrong. We need to remember where we came from to keep moving forward.


  • Beener says:

    Hey Nikki you get an “A” for whatever the hell you just said. But my question is how can they eliminate all words that begin with the letter N? Who would buy a book like that?

  • Beth says:

    I would never buy it. No excuse on earth could justify the changing of literature.

  • Flyer says:

    I have Mormon friends who subscribe to a service that provides “sanitized” versions of movies, so I understand that there are people who would welcome “special” versions of Twain’s books that reflect their personal tastes. Of course, this kind of artistic mutilation is selfish, ego-centric and self-delusional, but the market is there, so I understand why a publisher might decide to cater to it. However, I have a HUGE problem with the idea that these “special” versions could be taught in schools or in any way presented to students as the authentic work of Twain. “Improving” Twain’s writing seems to be the height of presumptuous hubris.

    Philly Flyer

  • Deborah says:

    How can ‘slave’ be any better? So are the PCers of today saying that anyone called the “N” word is a slave? I believe that using ‘slave’ is worse. Especially considering that the “N” word is still being used today- for derision sure, but as a self-label, pet name, good natured-jibe, and many other meanings. I am sure that ‘slave’ was not the only meaning of the word back then either. So, should we start calling our friends ‘slave’ because that’s somehow more ‘sensitive’ than the “N” word? It’s preposterous. We’ve gotta get past this people.


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