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Tue, 3 Jan 2017 22:29:10 +0000
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
"Richey, Ms. Carolyn L" <[log in to unmask]>
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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This is a side note to the original post regarding the comment that none of Twain's writings addresses the Nature vs. Nurture debate so prevalent in the 19th century and after.  In Pudd'nhead Wilson, he most definitely addresses the nature/nurture discussion through Roxy's switching of the master's son and her own son.  Her son is raised to be a despicable character and the master's son was so damaged by his "nurturance" as a slave that when all was set right, he could not leave the kitchen.  

Also, regarding the original topic of the N word, watch the old Disney movie of Huck Finn where they substitute slave for the N word and the whole idea of slavery seems like a romp in the park.

Carolyn Leutzinger Richey
Tarleton State University
Department of English and Languages
Office:  OAG334
Box T-0-300
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-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Twain Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Scott Holmes
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 3:10 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Reasons to quit (using the "N" word)

Purely a technicality but Twain was in fact a racist in that he recognized distinctions between groups/populations of peoples and accepted both qualitative and quantitative distinctions between them.
He may or may not have come to accept Native Americans as fully human but for most of his writings they were on a par with African bushmen - also a massively unfair and racist judgment call on his part.  Twain was an Orientalist, the accepted sociological theory of the day. It's unclear if his distinctions were made from a biological perspective or cultural.  I can't recall anything about the nature/nurture debate in Twain's writings.
 There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of
                          in your philosophy.