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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: Where does it belong in our society?
Transcript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: Where does it belong in our society?
-- from Ernest Hemingway, The Green Hills of Africa (1934) Speaking on basic injustices in society: Treatment of blacks versus whites Things to note Published in 1885, 2 decades after the emancipation of proclamation Period of Reconstruction Difficulty to integrate slaves into normal society Jim Crow Laws Effort to rebuild Southern Economy and Society The Norm of Huck's Society A place of moral confusion No concern of injustice, even amongst "the good" Miss Watson "They call that a govment that can't sell a free nigger till he's been in the State six months. Here's a govment that calls itself a govment......and yet's got to set stock-still for six whole months before it can take a hold of a prowling, thieving, infernal, white-shirted free nigger"
- Pap A man's property was honored over another's well-being Why is it relevant? One of the first books to bring light upon a slave's thoughts as of an equal. A satire upon the long blatant injustice of earlier society How long? Today, we are taking steps towards fighting racism, and giving equal opportunity. "Huckleberry Finn" should be taught to students because it is an important work by one of America's most prominent writers. It not only deals with a difficult time in American history, it marks an important transformation for Twain himself"
- Jocelyn Chadwick, world-renown scholar on Mark Twain "Mark Twain knew darn well what he was doing when he wrote "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn": he was pokin' at a beehive.
And for more than one hundred years, the bees have obliged, swarming out with criticism of the tale of the friendship between a poor white boy, Huckleberry Finn, and an escaped slave, Jim."
- Alvin Powell, The Harvard University Gazette The significance of treating another human being the same as another, regardless of color, outweighs any other circumstance of matter.
And we, as a humanity, will cease to exist if we cannot live in peace together. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn showed a revolutionary idea of that time, which was that a white boy and a black slave man could become friends.
The inner morality of the book concerning this friendship is the main reason this book should be included in the curriculum. Provides the transition from a romantic, Shakespeare approach to a modern, realistic approach Mocks Shakespeare on his romantic style of writing You mad bro? "...he rolled up the curtain, and the next minute the king come a-prancing out on all fours, naked; and he was painted all over, ring- streaked-and-striped, all sorts of colors, as splendid as a rainbow. And – but never mind the rest of his outfit; it was just wild, but it was awful funny. The people most killed themselves laughing..." "I hadn't seen no house out in the country before that was so nice and had so much style. It didn't have an iron latch on the front door, nor a wooden one with a buckskin string, but a brass knob to turn, the same as houses in town. There warn't no bed in the parlor, nor a sign of a bed; but heaps of parlors in towns has beds in them." -Huck Humorously mocks the story of Romeo and Juliet
with the Grangerfords and Shepherdons feud How does this show Huck Finn's relevance to American Literature? Provided a turning point in American literature. Introduced the world to a first
truly realistic novel Uses the realistic character of Huck Finn to satirize the romantic views of Tom Sawyer "Shucks, it ain't no use to talk to you, Huck Finn. You don't seem to know anything, somehow -- perfect saphead." I thought all this over for two or three days, and then I reckoned I would see if there was anything in it. ..So then I judged that all that stuff was only just one of Tom Sawyer's lies. I reckoned he believed in the A-rabs and the elephants, but as for me I think different." Man, you really are crazy! Hehe, I'm punny! Not only through the characters, Twain also portrays realism through the different settings of the novel... "When it was daylight, here was the clear Ohio water inshore sure enough, and outside was the old regular Muddy! So it was all up with Cairo." "Sometimes a belt of land a quarter of a mile deep will start in and cave along and cave along till it all caves into the river in one summer." So what do the experts say about Twain's daring new approach to realism? "I believe that 'Huckleberry Finn' is one of the great masterpieces of the world, that it is the full equal of 'Don Quixote' and 'Robinson Crusoe,' that it is vastly better than Gil Blas, 'Tristram Shandy,' 'Nicholas Nickleby' or 'Tom Jones.' I believe that it will be read by human beings of all ages, not as a solemn duty but for the honest love of it" -Dayton Duncan "The mark of how good ''Huckleberry Finn'' has to be is that one can compare it to a number of our best modern American novels and it stands up page for page, awkward here, sensational there - absolutely the equal of one of those rare incredible first novels that come along once or twice in a decade" - Norman Miller So what does this prove? The Connection between Huck and the student! Just like us, Huck is trying to find out his identity. Huck is of our age group, so it is natural for us to feel some sort of connection
Huck is searching for his inner beliefs and his worried about who he will become later in life.
Huck's values are tested in choosing what's more important. What are Huck's signs of growth as a person? "All right, then, I'll GO to hell" This pivotal quote shows Huck's growth as a human being. "I couldn't ever feel any hardness against them anymore in the world. It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another." This is another example of Huck's maturation process, much like the ones we go through. “The mark of how good “Huckleberry Finn” has to be is that one man can compare it to a number of our best American novels and it stands up page for page…” The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should remain relevant to American literature because: Provides the transition from a romantic, Shakespeare approach to a modern, realistic approach Sources Shows the injustices by comparing the treatments of
African Americans and treatment of Whites http://www.shmoop.com/huckleberry-finn/literary-devices.html
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/adventures-huckleberry-finn Connects with readers at young adult age