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Transcript of Huckleberry Finn
As Huck watches this gathering, he does not see these people as civilized humans, but as a "crazy and wild" crowd, spurred by religion. It reveals how religion can make them helpless, frantic, and gullible to even the most outrageous claims that contradict common sense.
"Then Miss Watson she took me in the closet and pray, but nothing came of it. She told me to pray everyday and whatever I ask for, I would get it. But it warn't so. I tried it. Once, I got a fishline, but no hooks. It warn't any good to me without hooks. I tried for the hooks three or four times, but somehow I couldn't make it work. By-and-by, one day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she said I was a fool. She never told me why, and I couldn't make it out no way."
Chapter 3, Page 10-11
Twain satirizes the mechanics of praying by making Huck pray for materialistic objects. When Huck sees that his praying does not come true, he abandons his attempt. Through Huck's stunt, Twain deems prayer cumbersome if the gain is only spiritual.
r e l i g i o n
Evidence from the Text
"Then she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished
I was there. She got mad then, but I didn't mean no harm. All I
wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change, I warn't
particular. She said it was wicked to say what I said; said she wouldn't
say it for the whole world; she was going to live so as to go to the good place. Well, I couldn't see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it. But I never said so, because it would only make trouble, and wouldn't do no good." - Chapter 1, Page 2-3
Huck does not take religion seriously and treats the prospects of hell and heaven casually. By presenting such a normally shocking statement in this matter, introspection is made about the advantages of religion and its goal of a "good place."
After High School
by: Eilleen Lee, Emily Huang, Ivory Widjaja, Jerry Jiang, Tammy Truong, Vivian Lai, and Zoe Gant
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck serves as a mouthpiece of Twain's views through his physical and mental journey; his questionings and thought processes reveal that both religion and formal education cause people to overlook common sense and into superstition, whereas the impacts of moral education and experiences away from society develop him into an individual.
Modern Day Connections
"After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no more about him, because I don't take no stock in dead people." - Chapter 1, Page 2
Huck has no patience for lessons that don't impact him directly and views them as impractical. In the eyes of a child, he doesn't apply how other people solve their problems to his own, but would rather think so for himself when the time comes.
Despite refutes and arguments by scientists and nonbelievers alike, the hypothetical doomsday on December 21st, 2012 was the talk of the year.
People, regardless of their education or religion, questioned the authenticity of the alleged happening, mostly regarding it absurd.
This reflects on Twain's views by saying: -Education is not essential for common sense -In most cases, education does not weigh in on normal everyday judgements and evaluations.
"Mornings before daylight I slipped into cornfields and borrowed a watermelon, or a mushmelon, or a punkin, or some new corn, or things of that kind. Pap always said it warn't no harm to borrow things if you was meaning to pay them back some time; but the widow said it warn't anything but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it." - Chapter 12, Page 65
Huck is caught between his definitions of "stealing" and "borrowing." Pap has taught him that "borrowing" is all right as long as one has the intention of paying back at some point. However, the widow has told him that it is just an excuse to steal. This shows the juxtaposition of ignorance and cultivation. Although he steals the food, he continues to be confused about whether its right or wrong, due to his different sources of moral education.
-lived through the Civil War, wrote the book after the Emancipation Proclamation
-witnessed prejudice towards slaves and how several aspects of religion did not make sense
-greatly affected by the brutal murder of a slave over a trivial reason in his hometown and questioned morality
-worked as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River --> exposed him to both the Northern and Southern ways of moral perception and education
-started his writing career as a humorist for a local newspaper, created satirical works on religion to show how absurd he thought society was in the 1800s
- - - - - Widow Douglass - - - - -
- - - - - Pap - - - - -
- - - - - Tom Sawyer - - - - -
"'Ransomed? What's that?'
'I don't know. But that's what they do. I've seen it in books; and so of course that's what we've got to do.'
'But how can we do it if we don't know what it is?'
'Why blame it all, we've got to do it. Don't I tell you it's in the books? Do you want to go to doing different from what's in the books, and get things all muddled up?'" - Chapter 2, Page 9
Ironically, Tom Sawyer's reliance on books without a second thought only complicates matters further. In turn, Huck also questions its rationale and practicality but ends up accepting Tom's ways since he assumes he's more knowledgable for his perception of being well brought up.
impacted by the experiences he goes through
does everything according "to the books"
affected by Jim and later views him as an equal
romantic perspective from his novels
thinks Huck is ignorant and not as knowledgable as he is
uses Jim to be the subject of his fantasy "prison break"
did not initially view Jim as an equal human being
Religion | Education | Superstition
dislikes being "sivilized" and has no patience for religious teachings
According to statistics, a high school education does not prepare a majority of students to handle adult responsibilities, such as doing taxes, maintaining loans, etc.
This reflects Mark Twain's ideas that education doesn't prepare you well for the trials of life. From the start, Huck objects to being educated by saying he doesn't feel it's necessary, and fundamentally, he didn't have the use for formal education.
Celeste, Kline & Elizabeth, Williams, "Transitioning Out of High School: A Quick Stats Fact Sheet." National High School Center (2007): n. pag. Web. 26 Dec 2012. <http://www.isbe.net/spec-ed/pdfs/NHSC_TransitionsOutFactSheet.pdf>
"Mark Twain Quotes." BrainyQuote. Bookrags Media Network, n.d. Web. 26 Dec 2012 <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mark_twain_7.html>
"Mark Twain - What Did Mark Twain Write About Slavery? Was He a Racist?" About. About, n.d. Web. 26 Dec 2012 <http://classiclit.about.com/od/marktwainfaqs/f/faq_mtwain_slav.htm>
"This is the...Protests in Egypt & Libya Yesterday." The Blaze. TheBlaze LLC, 12 Sep 2012. Web. 26 Dec 2012 <http://www.theblaze.com/stories/this-is-the-anti-muhammed-movie-that-sparked-deadly-islamist-protests-in-egypt-libya-yesterday/>
"Why do you focus on homosexuals?" WBC. WBC, n.d. Web. 26 Dec 2012 <http://www.godhatesfags.com/faq.html#Focus>
On a normal basis, people are exposed to the norms in their surroundings and subliminally adapt to them, such as slang, interests, and ways of reaction. Morals are also shaped through these means.
i.e. yolo, troll, bandwagoning, "MY FEELS," classmates, friends, family, media (internet, movies, tv shows), and games
--> Therefore, it is easier to "go with the flow" than to follow individual intuition. In a way, education and religion do not promote independence. Twain expresses it negatively as mobthought and how people accept things blindly without contemplation, even for the most trivial things. Words such as the casual use of the n-slur are such an instance.
INSTANCES OF NOT ACCEPTING THINGS WITHOUT QUESTION
-system of American government established to question (check and balance)
-Age of Reason / Enlightenment
Humans are flawed and crave for direction so they rely on religion, education, and/or superstition as a guide.
-People are easily swayed and gullible when it concerns religion, therefore corruption exists when others can manipulate them for their own gain (Pap and the dauphin's "reform")
-Huck is not inclined towards religion since its values are without benefit to him, such as a "good place" or "bad place"
-Religion is viewed as a part of daily life, therefore a second glance to its validity is not given
-Naturally obtained sense of right/wrong, or common sense, is bum-steered by religious teachings
Evidence from the Text
Definition: idea or belief that has no logical or naturally scientific backup
-Huck and Jim are generally rational characters until they come across something they recognize as superstitious; irrational behavior takes over
-Huck believes in superstition more so than religion and education since it mostly describes instances of bad luck, which happens often
-It also foreshadowed events (ex: spilling salt = a meeting with Pap, touch snakeskin = rattlesnake bites Jim)
s u p e r s t i t i o n
Religion Advertisers Tammy and Ivory = Duke and the Dauphin
-manipulate gullible, religious people for their own benefit
-Naïve Zoe didn't question the two strangers due to their prestigious Kobe Bryant identity card as if it proved a high status
-[Ethos] People tend to believe that more educated and entitled people are know better all around, when that isn't always the case in common sense
The Shed of Sunshine = religious institutions
-fuels the belief of "being closer" with one's religion; where people are educated about its values although hypocritical nature exists
nonsensical dancing = praying
-gives a sense of appeasing to a higher power to bring favor in life and troubles, but doesn't prove it to do so
deer head = sacrifice
-religion shows that you must give up something in order to achieve certain motives (ex: temperance)
The Stevie Wonder Game
This scene exemplifies how Pap is the embodiment of ignorance by obtructing Huck's formal education. However, because he is scornful towards Huck for surpassing him in this department, Pap contributes to Huck's dynamism and dependence on moral education to develop.
Huckleberry Finn Presentation
"Jim looked at the trash, and then looked at me, and back at the trash again. He had got the dream fixed so strong in his head that he couldn’t seem to shake it loose and get the facts back into its place again right away. But when he did get the thing straightened around he looked at me steady without ever smiling, and says: 'What do dey stan’ for? I’se gwyne to tell you. When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin’ for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn’ k’yer no’ mo’ what become er me en de raf’. En when I wake up en fine you back agin, all safe en de tears come, en I could a got down on my knees en kiss yo’ foot, I’s so thankful. En all you wuz thinkin’ ’bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie. Dat truck dah is TRASH; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren’s en makes ’em ashamed.'" - Chapter 15, Page 86
Jim's speech to Huck greatly affects Huck's sense of morality. Huck's decision to apologize afterward is a motion towards his moral development as well as individual thought independent from the teachings of society.
- - - - - Jim - - - - -
"Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it
off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up.
I didn't need anybody to tell me that that was an awful bad sign and would
fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of
me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my
breast every time; and then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away. But I hadn't no confidence. You do that when you've lost a horseshoe that you've found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but I hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off bad luck when you'd killed a spider." - Chapter 1, Page 3-4
Evidence from the Text
-hairy arms and chest
-wearing a 5 cent piece around the neck
-touching a rattlesnake with bare hands
-looking at new moon over left shoulder
-must not count the things to be cooked for dinner
Bildungsroman: literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist
-Youth makes him more open-minded and ironically, know better than adults
-More affected by moral vs. intelluctual education --> outcasted from society and relies more on own percieved logic
-This allowed deep introspection to meet conclusions unaffected by accepted rules and values
-Ethos is seen when Huck meets "educated people” and he questions with common
sense but digresses since they’re more intelligent/educated (Tom Sawyer)
-Therefore, Huck is oftentimes misled in concepts of right and wrong
-Moral compases and guides range throughout the book, but mostly Jim steers Huck as
a fatherly figure
-Learned to regard slaves as real people vs. property
"What's the use you learning to do right, when it's troublesome to do right and ain't no
trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?" -Mark Twain
"Don't let schooling interfere with your education." -Mark Twain
e d u c a t i o n
SITUATION: Mr. Lamar has become weary and irate because of our TOMfoolery. He is aware of the innocent souls amid the numerous naughty ones. So he, in a magnanimous decision, has made THREE versions of the final. Version #1 consists of multiple choice questions, while Versions #2 and #3 are a compilation of AP level and essay questions.
In this game, you three groups will face the will of Lady Luck. Whether you get on her good or bad side may determine which version of the test you are taking.
You will be playing in four rounds, in which you will try to gain as many
good luck points as you can... so cross your fingers! Each
group will need five players... will you volunteer as tribute?
VERSION 1 IS ONLY A PLOY TO FEED ON THE TEARS OF 'CHILLUN. MR. LAMAR ISN'T LETTING US OFF EASY AND HIS DECISIONS ARE HIS OWN, NOT YOURS OR LUCK'S.
Relying on superstitious beliefs fuels a sense of childish hope. It is a way to escape bad happenings but ultimately does not determine/affect the outcome.
The inclination to cooperate derived from the probability that something good will occur. If something unfortunate occurs, there is also an explanation for it.
In the story, Twain implies that bad happenings are blamed on superstition rather than superstition making bad happenings. Huck's spider superstition is a prime example.
19th Century America
21st Century America
slavery and segregation
advanced school system
beginnings of American history
all races granted basic rights
Evidence hints that the riots over the offensive portrayal of Mohammad in "Innocence of Muslims" were actually caused by anti-US terrorist groups, using religion as a reason and justification. This is similar to the feuding families by how they use a long-time and blurred reason in order to justify their war on each other.
Differences in Education
mainly Christian country
Religion is the cause and means of the WBC to spread their ideas, where the focus on ideology causes them to overlook common sense and morality. Some of their views include how dead soliders are God's punishment for homosexuals. To this day, religion is still used as justification and an excuse for their conduct with the backbone of "free speech."
This is similar to religion portrayed in novel, in which religion also causes others to forget what is common sense.
Right when the story starts, it is revealed to the reader that Huck is quite
superstitious, believing more in omens of bad luck than in signs of good
fortune. He is more inclined to consider superstition over religion or
education, although they all are portrayed as baseless. Humor is
also seen since he assumes that such a commonplace
act of killing a spider would bring bad luck.
His actions describe how childish
"But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?" -Mark Twain
"Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired." -Mark Twain
higher level of
"'All right then, I'll go to hell.'" - Chapter 31, Page 215
Rather than listening to what society and religion taught him his whole life up to that point, Huck chooses to save Jim, placing the man's life on an equal scale as his own. He based this decision on his conscience and what he feels is the right thing to do.
The Jajaja Cult Presents
"When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain't the way."