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The Scarlet Letter & Huckleberry Finn

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Becky Mai

on 11 November 2014

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Transcript of The Scarlet Letter & Huckleberry Finn

Samuel L. Clemens had wit, buoyancy, and a sharp eye for truth, he had high moralistic and ethical values. Through his writings, Twain implemented his serious tone that illustrated the cruelty and injustice of mankind.
Moral and Ethical Beliefs
English IA

Introduction: Overview
Discuss the similarities and differences of the entirety of the novels, The Scarlet Letter and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Go into detail of the authors and the relevance of their perspectives and how it generates the theme prejudice and discrimination.
Discuss rhetorical devices found in the two novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hawthorne was an American-born writer and was also a third generation Puritan. Hawthorne's original last name was Hathorne, but he added a "w"to distinguish himself from his ancestor John Hathorne, a prominent judge in the Salem witch trials. The reason for this distinction was because Hawthorne disagreed with the Puritan ways, so he tried to separate from his family religion.
Mark Twain
Definition: Prejudice is an unjustified or incorrect attitude towards an individual based solely on the individual's membership of a social group.
Introduction: Scarlet Letter
Setting: Mid 17th century (1642-1649), New England
Summary: Young woman (Hester Prynne) moves to Boston, Massachusetts
Husband stays behind to take care of business back home.
2 years pass and her husband not back, Hester has an affair with the reverend Dimmesdale.
Becomes pregnant with daughter Pearl
Town punishes her for committing adultery because of their strict Puritanistic ideals. Sentenced to stand on the town scaffold, forced to wear a letter “A” on her bosom for the rest of her life.
Sees her husband in the crowd
Husband later threatens to find the father of the child and seek his revenge with a new identity as a physician named Roger Chillingworth.
Introduction: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Setting: early 1840 in the town of St. Petersburg, Missouri.
Main Character: Huckleberry Finn
A thirteen year old boy
Son of the town drunk.
Homeless child
Does whatever he wants because there is no one to take care of him.
Known for his rowdiness and uncaring nature of following the rules
Looked down upon by the rest of the townspeople.
In doing so, he promises to help a runaway slave named Jim. The novel primarily entails Huck and Jim’s travels along the Mississippi.
Definition: The practice of unfairly treating a person or a groups of people.
Similarities and Differences - Overview
The Writer's Different Styles
Nathaniel Hawthorne strategically criticized Puritan society without getting caught by the church
Scarlet Letter: Women were viewed as innocent, so an act of wrongdoing is viewed more heavily against them.
Huckleberry Finn: Blacks and uneducated were typically the impoverished. People were looked down on when they helped the slaves.


Racist: Negative attitude towards race right before the Civil War

Religion - Puritanism
Puritans came to New World for religious toleration
God=the supreme authority
looks down on all people in search for material wealth.
Marriage is viewed as sacred and when someone has an affair, they are violating the sanctity of marriage.
The societal structure during the time consisted of mainly the educated, uneducated, and the African-American slaves.
It varied between the rich and poor.
Huckleberry Finn was considered an outcast and was classified to be as the same as the slaves.
Slaves were mainly mistreated
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was set in the period before the great Civil war
Slavery had still been a rampant part of everyday society.
Townspeople of Missouri not open minded to helping a runaway slave.
White superiority
Slaves were established as items or property of their white masters.
Religious Background
Hawthorne third generation Puritan.
Lived in an era where church membership was more lenient.
Disagreed with puritan ideals from the early 17th century.
Wanted people know about the prejudice from the 1600s
Church would immediately censor his works
Implemented a technique to secretly input his opinion of 1600 puritan society.
Mark Twain criticized organized religion and Christianity.
Believed in God but not messages and revelations
Raised by a Presbyterian and later helped build his brother build a Presbyterian church.
People are basically unchangeable, merciless savages.
Throughout the novel Twain uses the first person point of view to illustrate the books theme: man can often be inhumane to his fellow man. Twain's point of view, is essentially to his personal experiences, is also vast in that he describes the shortcomings of humans on their various hypocrisies.
The Scarlet Letter
Hester was considered a sinner; branded with the scarlet letter; committed adultery with Dimmesdale; looked down on
Looked down on because she proudly wore the letter
Puritans saw adultery to be worst sin
Sinners for life; no escape
Hester wore the letter; Dimmesdale suffered mental anxiety
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Outcasted because of his father's reputation
Dressed like a slob and ditching school; looked down by townspeople
Slaves were seen as property
Black inferior to whites
The Scarlet Letter
Hester Prynne was looked down upon by people by people that didn't even know her. Because she wore the scarlet letter that symbolized the adultery that she committed, she was immediately assumed the position of an unfaithful Puritan women.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Huckleberry Finn was viewed as an outcast because his father was a drunkard and he lived in a poor society. The story also suggested that if it became known that Huckleberry Fnn was aiding the escape of a slave, people would think bad of him.
Cited Works
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, and Solomon Schlakman. The Scarlet Letter. New York: Amsco School Publications, 1970. Print.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Hucklberry Finn. N.p.: Grolier., n.d. Print
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Kristy Dai
Annie Du
Becky Mai

"The Scarlet Letter vs. of Huckleberry Finn"
The Adventures
Mark Twain taught morals and criticized using satirical devices
Scarlet Letter: Puritan society views marriage as sacred. Women were viewed badly when committing adultery.
Huckleberry Finn: Slaves turned to religion in order to forget about their hardships

Women were viewed as domestic workers and were often associated as being innocent beings.
When women commit a crime, they are often frowned upon more than when men commit the same crime.
In the Scarlet Letter, Hester commits adultery, the worst crime in puritan society, but is viewed even worse than men are.
Prejudice vs. Discrimination
Forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case.
preconceived idea of someone/something
Establishes differences and boundaries.
They are essentially internal.
Mind, thoughts
Strong against minorities
It follows prejudice and not vice-versa.
Discrimination is in our nature and blood.
Judging before you know.
Refers to action or behavior.
It is clear then that discrimination is an external representation of prejudice.
Action, behavior
Rhetorical Devices
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Allegory, Symbolism, Imagery
The Scarlet Letter: Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Scarlet Letter
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Sexist: Negative attitude towards gender in Puritan Society.
Scarlet Letter
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Mississippi River represents freedom and possibility
The raft represents equality
Huck represents America
Prison door = harsh justice
Rose bush = forgiveness
Pearl= Price of Sin and possibility of redemption
Scarlet letter = sin of adultery
The Black man= Satan
Forest= Passion and Emotion
Overcoming Adversity
Scarlet Letter
Hester manages to raise Pearl by herself
Although pained she forgave herself for her sin
Already served her punishment
Completely overcame adversity
Planned to leave village with Dimmesdale
Died pain free
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
At first he was unaware of incorrectness of society
Later developed his own perspective
Challenged societal views on race
Encourages others to form own opinion

Scarlet Letter
Hester was looked down upon because of her act of adultery.
Puritan society thought that adultery was the worst sin that any person could commit.
During the early 1600s, women were viewed as innocent and domestic beings. Therefore, when Hester committed adultery, she was looked down on.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Huck had a father who was a drunkard. Because of that, people judged him based on the status of his father.
People in this time era look down on people who help slaves escape to freedom.
When Huck helps the slave escape, he is seen as an outcast.
Hawthorne: 3rd gen puritan. Hated idea of 1600s puritan society
Twain: Satirical writer. Writes based on moral values. Criticizes discrimination of blacks.
Prejudice: The social norm of judging based on association.
Discrimination: The act of segregating the judged.
Racial, Religious, and Sexual Prejudice and discrimination in both novels
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