The Word Nigger By Mark Twain Essay

1178 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
Twain really couldn’t have avoided using the word “nigger” in his novel. So, when he did use the word in it, he used it for what it was. The following quote supports this, "A reader who objects to the word 'nigger ' might still insist that Twain could have avoided using it. But it is difficult to imagine how Twain could have debunked a discourse without using the specific terms of that discourse. Even when Twain was writing his book, 'nigger ' was universally recognized as an insulting, demeaning word" (Smith). Mark Twain knew when he was writing his book that many people would take offense to the use of the word nigger. This could have hurt him and the sales of his book badly. But, he still used it, for satire. He knew the possible consequences and took a risk, and in doing so, he created a great American novel.
The word “nigger” was basically the manifestation of racism towards Africans. The word “nigger” spews hatred and anger at blacks. To support this, "It is still a critique of slavery and racism; even if 'nigger ' is excised from the novel, Huck and the other characters maintain their racist mentalities that manifest in ways beyond the labels they attach to Jim" (Smith). In this way, even if the word nigger got removed from the novel, the characters would still be very racist to Jim. But, the word “nigger” expresses all of that hatred. No matter how many great deeds Jim does, he can’t escape the term “nigger” and its offense. Mark Twain satirizes society in this…

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