Huck Finn Uses the N-Word21 Sep 2008 / Paul Epps
My son had an assignment this weekend to write an essay on cultural values vs. personal values in Huckleberry Finn.
The teacher didn’t assign the whole book, just an excerpt in which Huck has to decide whether or not to send Jim, the escaped slave, back to Miss Watson.
So I read through the excerpt and sure enough, it includes multiple uses of what’s now known as “the N-word.”
I asked the boy, “Did Mr. Murano discuss with you guys about Mark Twain’s use of the word ‘nigger’?”
“No,” he said. “But in case you hadn’t noticed, our school is mostly Asian. Now if Mark Twain had overused the word ‘chink,’ then we’d have a problem.”