The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain has been edited by a US professor to remove the 219 uses of the word “n***er” and replace them with “slave” prompting an outcry from many who feel that the classic should be left in its original form. Twitter has been inundated with opinion on Huckleberry Finn.
Huckleberry Finn is a tale of race relations in 19th century America, when use of the term “n***er” was common. Twain used the word to highlight the level of racism considered the norm in his time.
Today, however, the word causes outrage when used in any context (stand up Frankie Boyle).
Professor Allan Gribben, who was responsible for editing Huckleberry Finn, claims that he replaced the word with “slave” as he felt more comfortable reading it aloud to students.
“Seems to me I’m doing something constructive by simply eliminating a word that’s a clear barrier for many people,” says Gribben.
However Morehouse University’s David Wall Rice disagrees and points out that Twain’s use of the word in Huckleberry Finn should be a catalyst for discussion about American racism.
“That word means something,” Rice said.
“We have to have the discussion about it. We can’t skate over it.”
Twitter has been deluged with comments about the editing of Huckleberry Finn.
S. Anthony Thomas wrote: “Instead of taking The “N” word out of Huckleberry Finn, take it out of the brains of millions of bigots.”
Another user tweeted: “Take out the n-word and you have to take the holocaust out of Anne Frank, and the adultery out of ‘The Scarlet Letter.'”
What do you think? Have you read about Huckleberry Finn?