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Huck Finn Nature vs. Society

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Kaela Phillips

on 21 March 2014

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Transcript of Huck Finn Nature vs. Society

"Soon as it was night out we shoved; when we got her out to about the middle we let her alone, and let her float wherever the current wanted her to; then we lit the pipes, and dangled our legs in the water, and talked about all kinds of things-- we was always naked, day and night, whenever the mosquitoes would let us-- the new clothes Buck's folks made for me was too good to be comfortable, and besides I didn't go much on clothes, nohow."
Connection #1
Connection #2
Huck Finn by Mark Twain
Nature vs. Society
In the novel, Huck and Jim escape society to gain their "freedom". In the quote given, Huck and Jim are described to constantly be naked on their raft. Walking around naked provides Huck and Jim a way to reject society. It is already known that they do not want to be a part of their way of life, but living without clothes is taking it to a whole new level. By being naked, Huck and Jim are in fact stating that they are equal because they are on the same stance. The source described above discusses the current-day Amish civilization. The Amish decide to separate themselves from most of society's conveniences, such as phones and cars. That is their way to reject the society. Both cases relate to the pushing away from society and sticking to nature and the natural way of living. The additional document was eye-opening in that it showed that even today, many don't like all of the advances, prejudice, and the ways of dealing with issues that today's society uses.
Huck Finn runs away from home at a considerably young age. He spends a while on a raft, floating down the Mississippi River, with Jim, a runaway slave of his relative. Huck already tasted freedom from society once before, when he went on an adventure with his best friend, Tom Sawyer, to find a treasure. It was extremely hard for Huck to go back to being civilized after being in nature for so long, and as described in the quote above, he's not interested in doing so again. The article provided describes a similar situation of a young girl who was left in the wild when she was 3 years-old. It was very hard to "civilize" her when she got back to society, since she spent so long in nature and was used to that way of living. This article greatly supported the nature versus society theme that was being portrayed in the book. It shows how ones in nature for a long time, it's difficult to go back to the old, civilized social way of life.
The Amish is a Protestant group living here in America. They have several communities, which consist of overall about 200,000 members. They originated in Europe and moved to the Americas to save themselves from prosecution. This civilization is mostly known for their peaceful way of life and their exclusion from modern society. They believe that religion will allow them to have whatever they need.
The Amish have their own communities. They produce their own clothes, have their own style, distinct speech, work, vacationing, and education. They mostly live in rural areas of the United States, and harmonize with nature by taking care of the soil, plants, and animals surrounding them. They reject modern "convenient" technologies, like cares, electricity, and phones. The reason behind this is that they think technology will damage their healthy communities.
“But I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and civilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.”
At the age of three, Oxana Malaya was left out in the streets of Ukraine by her alcoholic parents. She crawled to a place where she found dogs. No one noticed she was missing for 5 years; meanwhile, she lived with this pack. Oxana became extremely similar to dogs-- she barked, walked on all fours, licked waters out of rivers, and shook herself to get droplets off her. It was extremely hard to take Oxana to school when she got back to civilization, and moreover, almost impossible to teach her how to communicate like a human again.
This article explains all about the Amish culture. The specific part I'm interested in explains their culture views about their clothing. It explains what they wear, why they wear it, and the difference between what the males and females wear.
The Amish only wear certain clothing that express their religion. The main thing that stood out that relates to the book the most was the fact that their clothing choice shows their rejection of change. Huck and Tom chose to be naked on their travels on the raft. This shows that they were expressing equality; that they are the same despite their skin color. This is also showing the rejection against society.
This document expresses all the statistics about foster care in the year 2012. It talks about the percentage of children in foster care that plan for emancipation and have been emancipated.
This article is all the statistics about foster care children. Huck is a foster child. In the beginning of the book, Huck was being taken care of by Widow Douglas. That is what he meant by being there before. He liked being on his own and having his freedom to roam. Therefore, he does not want Aunt Sally to adopt him. This article expresses how many children decided to get emancipated, rather than staying in foster care. This shows that even nowadays foster kids would still rather be on their own, than be in foster care or the care of anyone other that their biological parents. In Huck's case I think it has less to do with being taken care of someone other than his parents and more with the fact that he likes having no authority.
Reasearch: Noam & Kaela
Prezi Design: Kaela
Prezi Pictures: Noam
Mark Twain successfully introduces the recurring motif of "nature versus society." Twain portrays this motif through an example of a citizen rejecting society for nature, nature raising and taking care of children rather than society. These concepts are often found in today's society as well, and represent continuous challenges for the characters throughout the novel.
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