Mark Twain used the N-word in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Should it be censored?

Perspective Writers' Votes
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Racially insensitive words in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be changed when it's being taught in school.

Pros
Cons
  • Schools have a duty to protect their students who are still minors from distressing content.

  • Studying texts in the curriculum which repeatedly include racist language nullifies important humanistic achievements in education.

  • The language of Twain is inaccessible to children and should therefore be modified.

  • Without censoring offensive words, students will be more likely to adopt racially insensitive words and/or attitudes.

  • African-American students reading the text could suffer harm or feel intimidated.

  • Teachers feel uncomfortable and overburdened by teaching it unaltered. The quality of education is seriously affected by that.

  • It is important to preserve the artistic integrity of great works of art like Huckleberry Finn. As such, none of its language should be modified.

  • To avoid racially insensitive words means to avoid a discussion about racism.

  • Twain's use of the N-word accurately depicts the culture and national conflict at the time. Changing that language would misrepresent history and the meaning of the text.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, considered as a piece of literature, does not merit inclusion in canonical American literature, taught in the public schools. Thus, there is no need to produce a censored version of it.

  • Intentionally removing specific words from a text for political reasons is functionally similar to censorship, which is contrary to the values of liberal democracies and should, therefore, be rejected.