Pretty much as soon as Mark Twain first published it, folks have wanted to burn the thing. Right now, the controversy is over the use of the word "******." As noted in the other thread, Mark was very careful about his language. He used the only correct word for the story. ****** has the meaning of stupid, violent, cowardly, craven, undignified. It is an interesting contrast that Jim, the only person of any real intellegence and courage and dignity in the whole book (A couple of female exceptions also, but they are only bit players) is consistently labeled with this insult. Mark was very much aware of the contrast and worked it hard. Compare Jim to the Duke and the Dauphine, Old Man Finn, the Shepardsons, the folks in those two Arkansaws towns where they did the "Royal Nonesuch...." And Jim is the one called "******." But it has always been a controversial book. The real reason is not the given reasons. When folks want to ban books, why is this one consistently at the top of the woodpile as the most important one to burn? Mostly because of the message that a mans worth is not in cash, but in himself, and the other message is that morals exist outside of societal norms, and a moral man is often in opposition to the morality of the society he lives in. Mark makes both these points early on. The first one is first enunciated when Huck and Jim are on the island in the river, and they are talking about finance. Jim has had small bits of cash, but to paraphrase his remarks, "Now I own myself, and I have never owned anything as valuable ever before." This is a conclusion that Huck makes for himself as well. One should own oneself, and not be owned by things, fears or desires. The second point is also important. Huck knows he has obligations to society to turn Jim into the authorities. He even has obligations to the widow Douglas, who has done her best for him. He was taught in church that it was important to turn Jim in. Huck decides he would rather roast in hell than do such a cowardly and disgraceful thing. His obligation to Jim and to himself is more important than his obligation to the social order. If you are the kind of person who wants to regulate what people read, think and do, this book is highly volatile explosive. The idea that morals exist outside of what you are told, the idea that one can own oneself and be true to oneself, rather than be owned by the social order makes this a very dangerous book.