I know this is an ongoing debate all over the web, but I’m throwing my two cents in.
The word “nigger” should NOT be removed from Huckleberry Finn. If it is removed just to make people more “comfortable” a true understanding of the time and novel will not be had. I had to read Of Mice and Men aloud to my classes this year and it too uses the “n-word”, albeit much less. It was difficult to make my mouth say it. I have a zero tolerance policy for students using the word with either an -er or -a, ending. But I did it, because it was a part of the time and was a part of the book. Would I choose to use a book written in today’s times, about today’s times that used that word? Probably not. But our history is not one of tolerance and open mindedness and PC speech. If we ignore what happened in the past it will lose it’s meaning. And that, I’m not ok with.
Here’s a New York Times blog post you can use to discuss this with your students.
What are your thoughts?
Filed under: Teaching Methods |