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E3: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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john meehan

on 16 December 2017

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Transcript of E3: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Every Adventure
represents a new
example of social
satire or criticism
Each chapter contains a self-contained "moral of the story."
Mark Twain
a.k.a. Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Author and Humorist specializing in
Capturing the dialect of different regions
The pioneer spirit and the American ideal
Criticizing the ills and flaws of society
Using your running log, you will compose a 2-3 page paper on how the author explored whichever theme you've selected throughout the novel.
Each day, we'll be shuffling the class up into small groups based on one of the six topics we're tracing throughout this unit. You and your teammates should be prepared to discuss the latest findings about the theme you're assigned on ANY DAY.

The unit will end with timed writing assignments and large group discussions in which you trace how one of the themes we explored in Huck Finn is still incredibly relevant in modern society.
Huck says he "lit out" to get away from the Widow Douglas' house in order to meet up with Tom Sawyer.
Huck Finn tells the story of a young boy and a runaway slave who attempts to escape an old way of life and flee to safety by sailing down the Mississippi River.
Huck Finn tells the story of a young boy and a runaway slave who attempts to escape an old way of life and flee to safety by sailing down the Mississippi River.

Ch. 1-3
Ch. 4-7
Ch. 12-14
Ch. 15-18
Ch. 19-25
Ch. 26-31
Ch. 32-39
Ch. 40-43
IN this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary "Pike County" dialect; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have not been done in a haphazard fashion, or by guesswork; but painstakingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech.

I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding.

PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.
a particular form of a language that is unique to a specific region or social group
What do you think the author means here?
Which character(s) is most closely identified with your theme?
(Example: Jay Gatsby = waste, John Proctor = repentance)

What is the most significant example of your theme thus far?
Be prepared to discuss how your theme relates to the following topic:
Tom's prank
The gang's cave
Huck's family
Jim's nickel
Tom's reading habits
Huck's prayer life
Huck Finn
Tom Sawyer
Judge Thatcher
Widow Douglas
Miss Watson
Jo Harper
Ben Rogers
Tommy Barnes
... and how do you think the author feels about that person?

"But race and class seemed to be central to the celebrity of all these people. They were poor. They were black. Their hair was kind of a mess. And they were unashamed. That's still weird and chuckle-worthy."
- Gene Demby, National Public Radio
"No matter how heartbreaking the story, we still love to laugh at black people."
- Jamilah King, ColorLines
"I had been to school most all the time and could spell and read and write just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don't reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I don't take no stock in mathematics, anyway."
So... what does this tell us about Huck Finn?
"Dey's two angels hoverin' roun' 'bout him. One uv 'em is white en shiny, en t'other one is black."
Jim's Hairball
The judges' behavior
Huck's abduction
What role does your theme play in each of these events?
Dig deeper! What might the author be saying?
"In this age... Halloween has turned into an ugly parade of cultural appropriation, racism and sexism [...] It is offensive, racist and completely ignorant."

- Calvin Ratana, Daily Sundial
Are certain words inherently offensive?
"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? It was 'lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn't too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they'd let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I'll never vote agin. Them's the very words I said; they all heard me; and the country may rot for all me -- I'll never vote agin as long as I live."
If a certain word is racially charged -- should we discontinue using it?
a cartoonish exaggeration
accurate and realistic
has depth and value
one dimensional
shallow and silly
Mark Twain uses exagerated
to satirize society and reveal its true
Modern Day African American Caricatures
So what's the difference between...
"When we was passing by the kitchen I fell over a roof and made a noise [...] Miss Watson's big nigger, named Jim, was setting in the kitchen door."
- Chapter 2

"By-and-by I was close enough to have a look, and there laid a man on the ground [...] Pretty soon he gapped, and stretched himself, and hove off the blanket, and it was Miss Watson's Jim! I bet I was glad to see him."
- Chapter 8
"Say -- who is you? Whars you? Dog my cats ef I didn't hear sumf'n. Well, I knows what I's gwyne to do. I's gwyne to set down here and listen tell I hears it again."
- Chapter 2
"But mind, you said you wouldn't tell -- you know you said you wouldn't tell, Huck."
- Chapter 8
"No! W'y, what has you lived on? But you got a gun. Oh, yes, you got a gun. Dat's good. Now you kill sumfn en I'll make up de fire."
- Chapter 8
"But looky here, Huck, who wuz it dat 'uz killed in dat shanty, ef it warn't you?"
- Chapter 8
chapters 8 through 11 show how
can have
Education vs. Ignorance
Society vs. Nature
Male vs. Female
At this point in the story...
emerges as a major "wildcard."
If you have trouble identifying examples of your assigned theme, you can always use DECEPTION as a substitute.
There was something laying on the floor in the far corner that looked like a man. So Jim says:

"Hello, you!"

But it didn't budge. So I hollered again, and then Jim says:

"De man ain't asleep -- he's dead. You hold still -- I'll go en see."

He went and bent down and looked, and says:

"It's a dead man. Yes, indeedy; naked, too. He's ben shot in de back. I reck'n he's ben dead two or three days. Come in, Huck, but doan' look at his face -- it's too ghastly."
"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. Jim said he reckoned the widow was partly right and pap was partly right; so the best way would be for us to pick out two or three things from the list and say we wouldn't borrow them any more—then he reckoned it wouldn't be no harm to borrow the others."

- Huck Finn, Ch. 12
"There's no real right or wrong."
Scottish Poet
Chapter XIII
How does Walter Scott show up in Huck Finn? And what does this tell us about the author?
The ends justify the means.
Are we really just lying to ourselves?
"Well, my idea is this: we'll rustle around and gather up whatever pickins we've overlooked in the staterooms, and shove for shore and hide the truck. Then we'll wait. Now I say it ain't a-goin' to be more'n two hours befo' this wrack breaks up and washes off down the river. See? He'll be drownded, and won't have nobody to blame for it but his own self. I reckon that's a considerble sight better 'n killin' of him. I'm unfavorable to killin' a man as long as you can git aroun' it; it ain't good sense, it ain't good morals. Ain't I right?"

- Jake Packard, Ch. 12
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than it's opposite. "

-Nelson Mandela
Chapter 15
Huck's fog trick
Chapter 16
Jim's family plans
Chapter 16
The slave catchers
Chapter 17
"George" at the Grangerfords
Chapter 18
Harney & Sophia
Chapter 18
Buck Grangerford
Emmeline Grangerford's poetry reveals a lot about what the Victorian society of the 1800s valued.
What does Twain doing here?
"The idea of YOU lynching anybody! It's amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a MAN! Because you're brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a MAN? Why, a MAN'S safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind -- as long as it's daytime and you're not behind him.

"Do I know you? I know you clear through was born and raised in the South, and I've lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man's a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South one man all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men in the daytime, and robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people -- whereas you're just AS brave, and no braver. Why don't your juries hang murderers? Because they're afraid the man's friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark -- and it's just what they WOULD do.

"So they always acquit; and then a MAN goes in the night, with a hundred masked cowards at his back and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you didn't bring a man with you; that's one mistake, and the other is that you didn't come in the dark and fetch your masks.
- Sherburn (chapter 22)
So the duke said these Arkansaw lunkheads couldn't come up to Shakespeare; what they wanted was low comedy -- and maybe something ruther worse than low comedy, he reckoned. He said he could size their style.

Then at the bottom [of the sign] the biggest line of all, which said:


"There," says he, "if that line don't fetch them, I don't know Arkansaw!"
1. What is Sherburn's opinion of Southern justice? Explain.

2. What is "The Royal Nonesuch" scam (all three nights)?

3. How does Jim feel about 'Lizabeth? Explain.

4. What costumed disguise does the Duke use to hide Jim?

5. What is the conmen's scheme involving Peter Wilks?
- Ran a temperance revival
(until word got out that he drank)
a.k.a. "The Duke of Bridgewater"
a.k.a. "Bilgewater"
- Preaching
- Quack medicine
- Actor
- Hypnotist
- About 70 years old
- Sold a fake toothpaste
(that stripped off tooth enamel)
foul, stagnant water that collects in the lowest part of a ship
A market town in South West England
a.k.a. "Looy the Seventeen"
a.k.a. "The Dauphin"
- Bald-headed
- About 30 years old
- Printer
"It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn't no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it's the best way; then you don't have no quarrels, and don't get into no trouble."

- Huck (chapter 19)
Honorary French title given to the rightful heir to the throne.
He was the most down on Solomon of any nigger I ever see. So I went to talking about other kings, and let Solomon slide. I told about Louis Sixteenth that got his head cut off in France long time ago; and about his little boy the dolphin, that would a been a king, but they took and shut him up in jail, and some say he died there.

"But some says he got out and got away, and come to America."

"Dat's good! But he'll be pooty lonesome -- dey ain' no kings here, is dey, Huck?"


(Chapter 14)
He dressed Jim up in King Lear's outfit -- it was a long curtain-calico gown, and a white horse-hair wig and whiskers; and then he took his theater paint and painted Jim's face and hands and ears and neck all over a dead, dull, solid blue, like a man that's been drownded nine days. Blamed if he warn't the horriblest looking outrage I ever see. Then the duke took and wrote out a sign on a shingle so:

Sick Arab -- but harmless when not out of his head.
(a three-night theatrical scam)
Take the audience's money and put on a brief show where the King runs around naked on all fours.
Welcome a new audience and put on a brief show where the King runs around naked on all fours.
Welcome BOTH audiences back into the theater. Take the customer's money, fill the house, and split.
Chapter 22
What is Mark Twain saying about our society here?
Huck's entertainment (ch. 20)
Huck's entertainment (ch. 22)
Shakespearean Revival (ch. 21-22)
The Royal Nonesuch (ch. 22-23)
The Preacher Scam (ch. 20)
The Wilks Family Scam (ch. 24-25)
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
- Martin Niemöller
Niemöller spent seven years in a Nazi concentration camp.
How does this quote relate to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. If you read it you must stop where the Nigger Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating. But it’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since."
- Ernest Hemingway
ch. 19
"I'd been selling an article to take the tartar off the teeth -- and it does take it off, too, and generly the enamel along with it"
"Well, I'd ben a-running' a little temperance revival [...] when somehow or another a little report got around last night that I had a way of puttin' in my time with a private jug on the sly."
"Bilgewater, I am the late Dauphin!"
"By rights I am a duke!"
ch. 20
To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,
But that the fear of something after death
Murders the innocent sleep,
Great nature's second course,
And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune
Than fly to others that we know not of.
There's the respect must give us pause:
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The law's delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take,
In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn
In customary suits of solemn black,
But that the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,
Breathes forth contagion on the world,
And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i' the adage,
Is sicklied o'er with care,
And all the clouds that lowered o'er our housetops,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.
But soft you, the fair Ophelia:
Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws,
But get thee to a nunnery -- go!
"[The King] told them he was a pirate -- been a pirate for thirty years."
[The Duke] showed us another little job he'd printed [....] The reading was all about Jim, and just described him to a dot. It said he run away from St. Jacques' plantation, forty mile below New Orleans, last winter, and likely went north, and whoever would catch him and send him back he could have the reward and expenses.
ch. 21
ch. 23
[The Duke] made a little speech, and praised up this tragedy, and said it was the most thrillingest one that ever was [...] and at last when he'd got everybody's expectations up high enough, 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.
"Walk fast now till you get away from the houses, and then shin for the raft like the dickens was after you!"
Scams & Schemes
"Hamlet" from "memory"
"I k'n tell a fortune pretty good when I've got somebody along to find out the facts for me."
Then at the bottom was the biggest line of all, which said:
"There," says he, "if that line don't fetch them, I don't know Arkansaw!"
ch. 22
"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

-Edmund Burke
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.
What types of things are people willing to spend their money on?
(and what sorts of scams do the Duke and the King orchestrate?)
Working With Your Team
Concoct an early 1800's period-appropriate scam or scheme that you could use to swindle people out of their money.
Ch. 23
Ch. 24
Action > Talk
Life ends with "nada"
Physical pleasure
Courage, loyalty, grace
"An outsider" to society
Close connection to nature
Plays by his/her own rules
Intuition > intellect
Resists the influence of women
- William Shakespeare -
Henry IV, Part I (Act II, scene ii)
"A plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!"

"There is no honor among thieves."
(a.k.a. "Gallows Humor")
Comic situations that arise from moments dealing with death or other sensitive topics.
"All right, then, I'll GO to hell" -- and tore it up.

It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming."

(Chapter 31)
The Undertaker in Chapter 27
"After all this long journey, and after all we'd done for them scoundrels, here it was all come to nothing, everything all busted up and ruined, because they could have the heart to serve Jim such a trick as that, and make him a slave again all his life, and amongst strangers, too, for forty dirty dollars."

- Huck (Ch. 31)
"Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send."

Chapters 26-31
"It warn't the grounding—that didn't keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder-head."

"Good gracious! anybody hurt?"

"No'm. Killed a nigger."

- Chapter 32
"It was the most astonishing speech I ever heard—and I'm bound to say Tom Sawyer fell considerable in my estimation. Only I couldn't believe it."

- Chapter 33
"Work? Why, cert'nly it would work, like rats a-fighting. But it's too blame' simple; there ain't nothing to it. What's the good of a plan that ain't no more trouble than that?"

- Chapter 34
"Well, some of the best authorities has done it. They couldn't get the chain off, so they just cut their hand off and shoved. And a leg would be better still. But we got to let that go. There ain't necessity enough in this case; and, besides, Jim's a nigger, and wouldn't understand the reasons for it, and how it's the custom in Europe; so we'll let it go."
- Chapter 35
1. Here a captive heart busted. 2. Here a poor prisoner, forsook by the world and friends, fretted his sorrowful life. 3. Here a lonely heart broke, and a worn spirit went to its rest, after thirty-seven years of solitary captivity. 4. Here, homeless and friendless, after thirty-seven years of bitter captivity, perished a noble stranger, natural son of Louis XIV.
- Chapter 38
Well, it made me sick to see it; and I was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals, it seemed like I couldn't ever feel any hardness against them any more in the world. It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.
- Chapter 33
The Green Hills of Africa
MILLSTONE (ch. 38)
Has Huck learned
... then how do you explain his regression?
Identify one example of Huck's regression in these chapters:
1) What is the behavior?
2) Why is it wrong?
3) Why does he do it?
4) How does it represent a step in the wrong direction?

When we read books, we usually come away from our reading experience a little richer, having given more thought to a particular aspect of life. What do you think Mark Twain intended us to gain from reading his novel?
What is the point of Huckleberry Finn?
In order to receive full credit, you MUST address how the final chapters of the book incorporated example(s) of IRONY.

1. Huck Finn
2. Pap
3. Jim
4. Tom Sawyer
5. Tommy Barnes
6. Ben Rogers
7. Samuel Clemens
8. Widow Douglas
9. Aunt Polly
10. Miss Watson
11. Miss Hooker
12. Judith Loftus
13. Sarah Mary Williams
14. Jake Packard
15. Walter Scott
16. The Watchman
17. Jim Turner
18. Bill Whipple
19. King Solomon
20. The Dauphin
21. George Jackson
22. Buck Grangerford
23. Col. Grangerford
24. Emmeline Grangerford
25. Sophia Grangerford
26. Harney Shepherdson
27. The Duke
28. The King
29. Boggs
30. Sherburn
31. Peter Wilks
32. William Wilks
33. Harvey Wilks
34. Mary Jane Wilks
35. Susan Wilks
36. Joanna Wilks
37. Dr. Robinson
38. The Undertaker
39. Levi Bell
40. Silas Phelps
41. Aunt Sally
42. Sid Sawyer
43. Judge Thatcher
44. 'Lizabeth
Genesis 9:20-21
Noah's Shame and Canaan's Curse

20. And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 21And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. 22And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. 24And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

25And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
Ch. 8-11
What has changed about Huck's reaction?
Why is Jim's dialect suddenly crystal clear in this exchange?
HUCK's sob story to the HARBORMASTER about his "family" (ch. 13)

HUCK's prank with the dead snake in JIM's bed (ch. 10)


JAKE and BILL's decision about JIM TURNER on the sinking boat (ch. 12)

HUCK and JIM's decision to follow PAP's advice about theft (ch. 12)
For each lie, ask yourself:

1) WHO is lying to WHOM?

2) WHY are they lying?

3) Is the lie for GOOD or EVIL?
Who wins each argument?
Look again! Are you SURE?




Huck's Side:
Jim's Side:
The winner to me is...

ch. 14

ch. 14

ch. 16
The reason is...
Create a blank BINGO card like the one shown here. Five rows, five columns.
What about this video similar to Tom Sawyer's plan for Jim's escape?
And what might Twain be saying?
Each night, add any FIVE items to your log as you read.
Teacher: Describe characters from the novel
Student: Fill in corresponding squares!
Once you've created your blank template, use any of the numbers above to fill out your card.
Full transcript