Song of the Day: Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
At first I wasn't sure how I would feel about this, but now, I've pretty much taken a side. I'm against it. First, did anyone get Mark Twain's permission to make those changes? Oh, that's right, you can't because he's dead. How does anyone know that Mark Twain would approve? Being a writer myself, I would not approve of anyone changing my work. Period.
The argument is that the word is offensive. Well, it is. But isn't this the same word being thrown around by my generation and much younger? This is the same word that is repeated on track after track on rap/hip hop albums and in music videos. In the novel, Huckleberry Finn, it's supposed to be reflective of the time period. It actually serves a purpose.
If parents are worried about their children reading the novel, then why not explain it to them? I don't suggest a twelve year old reading the novel, but a high school student around sixteen can certainly handle reading the "n" word in a specific context. I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when I was about fifteen. And there very well may be a point when a child comes into contact with the word before they even read the book. I was called the "n" word when I was eleven. I discovered its true meaning very early on. While I was offended and even hurt that a classmate would call me such a word (and only be suspended for two days), the word was used out of context.
I've made the personal decision to not use the word. I don't believe it contributes to a progressive society, but I do believe that in the context of a novel that was supposed to reflect the history of America's slavery period, that it should stay. The word stings, yes. But isn't that what we want people to remember? People should feel uncomfortable and they should feel a sting when they read over that word in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Imagine how the slaves felt. When we look back on it we should realize just how far America has come.
How do you feel about this new controversy surrounding Huck Finn?