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Censoring Huckleberry Finn

            There are many people that want The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain censored. In the 1990's there were 53 attempts to censor it (Symons and Harmon 449). These people have many motives for wanting to censor Huck Finn. To begin with, someone who wants to censor it will reason that the n-word needs to be replaced with another word, so that students can read it without being offended, and this is true. It is possible that students will feel offended by it. They think that because the n-word is used it may affect the student for the worse by them reading it or that students are going to use this slur after reading it. These are some of the reasons why some want to censor Huck Finn, but the problem here is not that using a different word would not make reading and teaching this book easier. Twain said himself, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning"(Melville House), meaning that language is important, but that also means, he used the n-word for a reason. So, the problem is that taking away the n-word defeats a lot of the purpose for the anti-racist book. Censoring Huck Finn violates the rights that Mark Twain had when he wrote it, is ridiculous because no one has to read it, and dilutes the lessons that are to be learned from it.
             To start, Huck Finn should not be censored because doing so violates the freedom of speech and press. Mark Twain wrote the book the way he did for a reason. No one has the right to change it because that is what he wanted written. In this country, anyone can write whatever they want to without the consequences of it being changed. They are only words. No one is required to buy into them. Censorship itself violates this right and is a bad idea altogether. If someone is going to censor Huck Finn, there are many other things they should censor first.

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