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The history of Mark Twains Huckleberry Finn is that of a book marked by controversy Ernest Hemmingway said all great American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn John Wallace counters that its smut racist and trash The critiques of Wallace and his kind have endangered the place of Huck Finn on required high school reading lists across the country One of the arguments critics make against the book is that because of the repeated use of the word nigger throughout the novel students of African descent and African-Americans feel offended and abused by the novel Two essays debating this point are The Case Against Huck Finn by John Wallace and We Give This Slur its Power by William Raspberry Mr Wallace professes that no student should ever feel that he or she is being discriminated against in the classroom and that whether or not Twain meant it to be so his novel is racially offensive He proclaims that pejorative terms are unacceptable in any context even in great works of literature While I concur with Mr Wallace in his opinion that no student should ever feel threatened in their place of learning Twains use of the word nigger is in a historical context and that sometimes whether we like it or not learning hurts Though it may make us uncomfortable learning about the reality of slave owning in the South is an important part of American experience Even from a Caucasian perspective I find that the history of slavery is degrading because it lays bear the absolute low that humanity can sink to This is why I find it absolutely absurd that Mr Wallace base his arguments against Huck Finn on the usage of the word nigger alone My personal read of the book is that Twain uses Hucks experiences to challenge his audience to come to grips with the ugly reality
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