A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Mark Twain knew what he was doing! Find out more in this must-read article. ~Bette A. Stevens

Excerpt: “Bullying is an epidemic in schools. Analyzing all the harmful aspects of dehumanization by use of slurs of all kinds, and the crushing results such labe[l]ling has on its victim(s), seems a critical topic to explore in the classroom. If you care about the next generation, don’t take the expeditious and therefore cowardly way out by refusing to acknowledge such evils exist, dedicate yourself to teaching our children why something is wrong. Erasing words from a book won’t erase from any heart the poison those words reveal, only education and understanding can do that…”

Growing Up Stupid

Huck and Jim On Raft

If you remove uncomfortable words from literature, you remove the heart of the entire reason for their use. Mark Twain was a masterful wordsmith who chose his words carefully, and he didn’t live in a vacuum, he understood the negative charge the N-word carried, even back then. Inclusion of the dehumanizing N-word sharply contrasts the reality of who Jim actually was, a kind, caring, noble human being, of higher character than most of the self-important whites he and Huck encountered. That one despicable word spoke volumes, both about those using it, how they used it and the reason they used it, as well as how Jim reacted to the use of it during different interactions, weighted by the motives and actions of the one using that word.

Despots know, and use the brutal tactic of labelling to conquer and rule, whether thousands of years ago or today, its effectiveness hasn’t…

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Comments on: "Mark Twain’s Use Of The N-Word In Huckleberry Finn" (11)

  1. Excellent argument and personally helpful. I thought I might be ambivalent about removing such words but I find myself on the other side of it now. I suppose the same argument could be made for removing statues we no longer understand.


    • Hi, Jacqui. Thanks so much for your response to the article. I feel that it’s only through a careful study and consideration of all sides in the history debates that we can come to an understanding that helps us repeat the best and never forget and not repeat the rest. So happy to hear that this post was helpful. 🙂 xo


  2. Thanks for bringing this insightful post to my attention, Bette. Hugs. ❤❤❤


  3. Thanks for sharing the article, Bette. Mark Twain is and always will be one of my favorite authors. His understanding of the human condition was the hallmark of his writing. It’s sad that today’s social engineers have gone off the track in blackballing ole Sam Clemens. 🙂


  4. A wonderful insightful post, Bette. A strong argument against censorship and for teaching empathy. Thanks so much for sharing.


  5. Wonderful post, dear Bette! Thank you!


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