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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Morgan Balsam

on 6 February 2013

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Transcript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Racial and Gender Issues The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn An individual's way of speaking,
reflecting that person's grammar Idiolect Maxim of Quantity Maxims of Conversation A stylistic variant of a language
appropriate to a social setting Register A particular form of a language that is distinctive
depending on a specific region or social group. Dialect Morgan Balsam
Grant Farsi
Meredith Morrison
Emily O'Brien
Jessica Perraud Example:
Jim: "Why, Mars Tom, I hain't got no coat o' arms; I hain't got nuffin but dish yere old shirt, en you knows I got to keep de journal on dat." (Page 269)
*Jim's choice to replace "d" for "th" and the double negative for "hain't got no" reflects the fact that Jim, being a slave his entire life, has never had proper education. Maxim of Quality Gender Taboo During the novel, Huck oftentimes violates the maxim of quality, most commonly through lies, to protect Jim due to the racist mindset of other characters. Example:
"You do a girl tolerable poor, but you might fool men, maybe. Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it. . . And when you throw at a rat or anything, hitch yourself up a-tiptoe and fetch your hand up over your head as awkward as you can, and miss your rat about six or seven foot. Throw stiff-armed from the shoulder, like there was a pivot there for it to turn on, like a girl" (pg. 55). Example: Huck to Jim-
Jim: "Don't it s'prise you de way dem kings carries on, Huck?" "No," I says, "It don't" (Pg. 163)
This shows Jim and Huck's informal relationship. Generally, slaves were not expected to express their feelings or thoughts with the white people, so Jim and Huck violate that expected "race register".
Huck to Judge Thatcher-
Judge: "Why, my boy, you are all out of breath. Did you come for your interest" "No, sir," I says; "is there some for me?" (Pg. 26)
The phrase "sir" is used to show respect to an older male of higher authority. The irony in Huck's choice of words with Judge Thatcher is that he shows more respect for him than his own father:
Huck to his Dad-
Pa: "...so don't give me no sass. I've been in town two days, and i hain't heard nothin but
about you bein' rich....That's why I come. You git me that money tomorrow. I want it."
Huck: "I hain't got no money"
With his short response to someone as "important" as his own
dad shows his lack of respect for him and creates
this informal relationship. -Women and girls had to jump through hoops and abide by a certain etiquette because it was socially unacceptable to talk or think about women having the same capabilities as men. Slang Words and phrases used in casual speech often invented and spread by close-knit social or age groups. -Women had to seem inferior -That was the way of the time period and no one, not even women, questioned it. Huck's dialect is filled with altered words and colloquialisms that are easy to understand. Examples of Huck's Dialect:
"that ain’t no matter,"
"it warn’t no time to be sentimentering," Jim speaks with his words very smushed together and has a thick accent. Since he is a black slave with little to no education in the south, he does not know the proper way to speak. Example of Jim's Dialect:
"I ain’ gwyne to len’ no mo’ money ’dout I see security. Boun’ to git yo’ money back a hund’d times, de preacher says! Ef I could git de ten cents back, I’d call it squah, en be glad er de chanst." (chapter 8). A term used in reference to words (or acts) that are not to be used (or performed) in "polite society." Racial Taboo Example:
"It most froze me to death to hear such talk. He wouldn't ever dared to talk such talk in his life before. Just see what a difference it made in him the minute he judged he was about free," (pg. 80). A term used in reference to words (or acts) that are not to be used (or performed) in "polite society." - Huck feels uncomfortable and guilty hearing Jim talk of freedom - African Americans were not seen as equals and slavery kept them inferior
Pap: "Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful. Why, looky here. There was a free nigger there from Ohio -- a mulatter, most as white as a white man. He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain't a man in that town that's got as fine clothes as what he had; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane -- the awfulest old gray-headed nabob in the State. And what do you think? They said he was a p'fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain't the wust. They said he could vote when he was at home. Well, that let me out. Thinks I, what is the country a-coming to? (Pg 42) A convention of conversation stating that the speaker shouldn’t make unsupported claims or lie. Disguising himself as a girl to maintain their cover, Huck goes to the home of a Woman new to town to find information on the search for Jim. It is necessary for him to violate the maxim of quality and lie about his beliefs and identity in order to protect not only himself, but more importantly Jim due to the racist nature of the people in the area and the fact that Jim is a runaway slave who has become a murder suspect. Examples:
1.“I done it. She looked me all over with her shiny little eyes and says:
“What might your name be?
“Sarah Williams.” “ (Pg. 50) 2.“They asked us considerable many questions; wanted to know what we covered up the raft that way for, and laid by in the daytime instead of running—was jim a runaway nigger? Says I:
“Goodness sakes! Would a runaway nigger run south?” “ (Pg. 114) Upon meeting the Duke and Dauphin, who question about Jim, Huck again violates the maxim of quality by telling a tale about how he was orphaned and must travel by night with Jim because many people thought he was a runaway. Although a complete lie, Huck again violates this maxim to protect Jim. A convention of conversation stating that the speaker shouldn’t be any more or less informative than needed. Throughout the book Huck must carefully navigate conversations by utilizing this maxim in order to prevent revealing too much information. While he often does this for his own benefit, he also does so to protect Jim due to his position as a runaway slave and the widespread racism. Examples:
1.“ “Oh, dear, dear, to think they ain’t ever going to see each other any more!”
“But they will—and inside of two weeks—and I know it!” “ (pg. 167) Huck, seeing Mary Jane hurt by separating the slave family, cautiously comforts her by telling that they will be reunited. However, he follows the maxim of quality and only tells her as much as necessary, while also making her promise not to tell, in order to protect Jim by giving them time to escape. 2.“He was often moaning and mourning that way nights, when he judged I was asleep, and saying, “Po’ little ‘Lizabeth! Po’ little Johnny! It’s mighty hard; I spec’ I ain’t ever gwyne to see you no mo’, no mo’!” He was a mighty good nigger, Jim was.” (pg. 140)
Seeing that Jim is already deeply troubled by the effects of racism and slavery that have separated him from his family, Huck follows the maxim of quantity and withholds the information about the Duke and Dauphin being fakes from Jim. Examples Huck: People would call me a low down Ablitionist (pg 66) The use of the " " In the context of this sentence, Huck is referring to being an
"ablitionist" as something deplorable. Huck's way of mispronouncing abolitionist shows a lack of importance for the term, and lack of education on the concept. Huck does not regard abolition as a valuable deed; therefore, his misinformation reflects itself in his use of the word. By mispronouncing abolitionist, the word is changed into an entirely different term with a new meaning. Mark Twain uses Huck as a reflection of how the people in the deep south felt about this topic through this recreation of the word abolitionist. Twain develops this slang and adds this atmospheric local color by removing a single letter from a word . Pap is attempting to say the word mulatto, which is a term to describe someone who comes from a black parent and a white parent. Pap injects a negative connotation into this term through his upset reaction about how someone of this descent has the right to vote. This case is similar to mispronouncing abolitionist. this concept shows how the original word, mulatto, has been altered into a new meaning. It is no longer is a definition, as it is a word filled with strong emotion. N-Word
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