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Language of Time

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| Language of Time | Word Choice in Descriptions | | David Stephenson | 11/29/2015 |

Language of Time
Word Choice in Descriptions In the selected readings of Mark Twain consolidated in “Mark Twain Selected Writings of an American Skeptic,” Victor Doyno includes chapters from “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” This book is the center of much debate and controversy over the use of one word, the “N” word. This word was used to describe Jim the Slave. In Chapter 31, Huckleberry Finn is struggling with his conscious of either turning Jim the Slave in to his owner or not turn Jim the Slave in and in turn assists him in staying free. He believes God’s Ten Commandments teach against stealing property, which is how slaves are viewed in the time. Huckleberry Finn sees the slaves as people with the right to be treated with all the respect as anyone else. This is where Huck Finn struggles since he feels people should not be property and should be treated with respect. Huck decides to accept his fate and says “all right then, I’ll go to hell.” (Doyno, 1983. Pg. 240.) In the end he decides to not turn Jim in and in turn satisfies his conscious because he feels people cannot be owned. With the language of the time, Mark Twain uses the word “nigger” over 200 times in his story “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Mark Twain uses the term 219 times in that one story. (CBS News, 2015. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/huckleberry-finn-and-the-n-word-debate/ ) In much of the censored versions, the word is replaced with slave which leads to the belief that slave is the same meaning of the word. Even in Twain’s age the word was used in a negative meaning but what meaning is carried over the years? In the reference “Exploring the Controversy,” the word “nigger” is explored as a teacher’s reference to the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” In the era of enslavement,…...

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