The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. Mark Twain - Letter to George Bainton, 10/15/1888
You may choose the assignments you complete toward your unit goal. When submitting an assignment, please include your name, block and the assignment title.
The DUE DATE for assignment submission is Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 3pm.
Exploring the Controversy Discussion Questions 25 points Review at least 3 of the available videos and answer the questions below. Include specific references to the three videos you view in your response. Youtube links provided or access via CHS M drive (My computer-->M Drive-->English-->Mrs. Jendrzejczyk)
Why is the teaching and reading of Huck Finn so controversial?
How have the criticisms about the book changed over the years?
How do these various criticisms reflect a changing America?
How does knowing about the history of the controversy make you feel about reading the book?
Under what circumstances, if any, do you think a book should be taken off a school's reading list and/or out of its library?
Huck Finn Censored
Huckleberry Finn and the N-Word
Should the N-Word Be Taken Out of Huck Finn?
Huckleberry Finn Censored
George Galloway interviews Ishmael Reed on Huckleberry Finn censorship
Huck Finn Book Censoring
Born to Trouble (video) 20 points This PBS film tells the story of the novel and how it has been censored and challenged throughout history. There are five sections to this film and some segments may help in some of your chosen projects. Take notes on the video and submit them for your points. Notes must be 1/2 - 1 handwritten page.
Satire and The Simpsons (TV viewing) 25 points Satire: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.; a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
Huckleberry Finn is a satirical novel. What is Twain's social commentary?
Compare what you do on a typical day to the things the Simpsons do in the opening segment of the show. Complete theCharacter Analysis the character profiles on the The Simpsons Website to analyze six characters, identifying satirical details that reveal the comment or criticism of society that the cartoon is making through the character. Use a graphic organizer to record and analyze specific examples of satire as you watch a full episode of The Simpsons, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Show, Family Guy, 30 Rock, King of the Hill, South Park. Finally, write a brief paragraph evidencing at least one topic Twain satirizes in Huck Finn. (Youtube links provided or access via CHS M drive (My computer-->M Drive-->English-->Mrs. Jendrzejczyk)
Examples from opening sequence:
Bart writing on the blackboard: Public education
Bart on his skateboard: The riddles of childhood
Homer leaving and driving home from work: Plight of the working man
Marge at the supermarket checkout: Consumerism (Note: Maggie costs $847.63)
Lisa playing the saxophone: Restrictions of public education and free thought
The family racing for the couch in front of the television: Impact of television on the modern family
Rationalism... and Romanticism...and Realism 35 points The struggle between ideals and realities helped shape American intellectual life and literature in many periods. The political, scientific, social reforms of the 19th century resulted in changes in the vision with which writers created literature and art as well. The early part of the century saw Rationalism (Age of Reason) give way to Romanticism and its offshoot, Transcendentalism; the latter part of the century, especially during and after the Civil War, saw a rise in Realism and Regionalism, when writers examined life as it was actually lived and to record what they saw around them. How did each of these reform movements use, and therefore contribute to, changes in literature and the arts? Ask students to use the following websites to chart the tenets of each literary movement. During their reading of the novel, ask them to use these charts to distinguish elements of each movement within the work (In Huck Finn, elements of all three literary and intellectual movements can be found). Romanticism in American Literature: “Gothic, Novel, and Romance” Realism in American Literature Regionalism and Local Color Fiction 1865-1895
Controversy Timeline 25 points Using the film, the library, and the Web, construct a timeline that shows the different challenges Huck Finn has faced since it was published. For each challenge, include quotes from detractors, as well as responses from the book's defenders. Minimum 5 challenges with 2 quotes (one from detractor, one from defender), cited in MLA format.
Racism Discussion25 points Read the following articles and answer the discussion questions. You must cite specific evidence from each article in MLA format in order to receive credit for this assignment. "The N-Word: It Just Slips Out""Racism"
What is racism? Is it a belief? Is it an action?
What causes racism? What beliefs do people invoke to try to justify racism? In what kinds of situations do we see or find racism?
When did you first recognize your own racial, ethnic, religious (or other) identity? What does it mean to you to identify yourself in this way? What do you like most and least about being a member of your group?
How has racism affected you or people you know?
Do you think most minorities have a positive or negative image of whites? Do you think most whites have a positive or negative image of other races?
What's the biggest misconception blacks have about whites? Whites about blacks?
Reading Assignment Options
Answer the questions and name the speaker of the quotations for 25 points per section.
Chapters 1-5: Status Quo and Conformity: Civilizing Huck QUESTIONS 1. How and why does Twain establish Huck’s voice as storyteller? What do we learn about Huck from what he reveals of other characters’ assessments of him? 2. Make two columns, listing Huck’s clear likes and dislikes as he reveals them in these chapters. What things does he have trouble understanding? 3. What are Huck’s feelings about his adoption by the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson? As a motherless boy, does he need their influence? 4. Huck’s upbringing is at issue in the book. What has he been taught that forms his core self? What do other characters want to teach him and how do they wish to change him? 5. These chapters establish components of Huck’s self that others hope to influence: his emotions, his intelligence, his fiscal responsibility, his spirituality, his social self, and his physical health and habits. To what and whom does Huck conform and when/how does he reject conformity in these chapters? 6. The titles of the chapters are in third person, while the text itself is in the first person voice of Huck Finn. What does this literary device suggest about the argument that Huck and Twain are one and the same?
QUOTATIONS 1. “Then she told me about the bad place, and I said I wished I was there…I couldn’t see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn’t try for it” (12-13). 2. “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?” (18). 3. “I went and told the widow about it, and she said the thing a body could get by praying for it was ‘spiritual gifts.’ This was too many for me, but she told me…I must help other people, and do everything for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself…I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time…” (20). 4. “Pap he hadn’t been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for me; I didn’t want to see him no more. He used to always whale me when he was sober and could get his hands on me; though I used to take to the woods most of the time when he was around” (21). 5. “I liked the old ways best, but I was getting so I liked the new ones, too, a little bit” (24). 6. “The judge…said he reckoned a body could reform the old man with a shotgun, maybe, but he didn’t know no other way” (31). __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Chapters 6-11: Es cape and the Wealth of Self QUESTIONS 1. What sort of person does Huck reveal his father to be? What is Huck’s relationship with his father? 2. Why does Huck stage his own murder rather than simply running away? What repercussions could this choice have on those who care about him? 3. What are Huck’s feelings about the river and living closely with nature? 4. Why does Huck tell Jim he won’t turn him in, when he is so frankly opposed to abolition? What does this reveal about Huck’s character? 5. Huck and Jim are runaways seeking freedom. In two columns, list the reasons and differences in their motivation to escape.
QUOTATIONS 1. “I didn’t want to go to school much before, but I reckoned I’d go now to spite pap” (31). 2. “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 ag’in” (35). 3. “I did wish Tom Sawyer was there; I knowed he would take an interest in this kind of business, and throw in the fancy touches” (41). 4. “[S]omebody prayed that this bread would find me, and here it has gone and done it…there’s something in it when a body like the widow or the parson prays, but it don’t work for me and I reckon it don’t work for only just the right kind” (45). 5. “People would call me a low-down Abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum—but that don’t make no difference. I ain’t a-going to tell” (50). 6. “I’s rich now, come to look at it. I owns myself, en I’s wuth eight hund’d dollars” (54). _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Chapters 12-18: Bonding over Inhumanity QUESTIONS 1. How does the episode with the murderers and the attempt to save them develop Huck’s sense of morality? What is his current code? From whom or what has he developed this code thus far? 2. What role does Huck play in discussions with Jim? What has Huck learned in school, from reading, or from Tom Sawyer that he has retained and found useful? How and when does Huck compliment and denigrate Jim? 3. What lessons from Pap does Huck remember and evaluate during his moral dilemmas with Jim? 4. How do both Grangerfords and Shepherdsons exhibit religious hypocrisy? Explain Twain’s use of the families’ feuding as satire of Civil War mentality. 5. The families follow their own code of behavior, unable to remember the original court case and the reason for the feud. Discuss feuds and frontier justice as they impact Huck’s growing sense of right and wrong. 6. Discuss Jim’s interactions with the Grangerford slaves, including his assessment of their abilities. What do these slaves know about the underground railroad and ways for runaways to elude capture?
QUOTATIONS 1. “Pap always said it warn’t no harm to borrow things, if you was meaning to pay them back, sometime; but the widow said it warn’t anything but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it” (70). 2. “Now was the first time that I begun to worry about the men—I reckon I hadn’t had time to before. I begun to think how dreadful it was, even for murderers, to be in such a fix. I says to myself, there ain’t no telling but I might come to be a murderer myself yet, and then how would I like it?” (76). 3. “Well, he was right; he was most always right; he had an uncommon level head for a nigger” (81). “I see it warn’t no use wasting words—you can’t learn a nigger to argue. So I quit” (84). 4. “’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” (89). 5. “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterward, neither” (89). 6. “…I begun to get it through my head that he was most free—and who was to blame for it? Why, me…Conscience says to me, ‘What had poor Miss Watson done to you that you could see her nigger go off right under your eyes and never say one single word?” (91). 24 A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classics Edition of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 7. “I got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it warn’t no use for me to try to learn to do right; a body that don’t get started right when he’s little ain’t got no show” (94). 8. “Well then, says I, 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?” (94). 9. “The men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall. The Shepherdsons done the same. It was pretty ornery preaching—all about brotherly love, and such-like tiresomeness; but everybody said it was a good sermon, and they all talked it over going home, and had such a powerful lot to say about faith and good works and free grace…” (111). 10. “I ain’t a-going to tell all that happened—it would make me sick again if I was to do that. I wished I hadn’t ever come ashore that night to see such things. I ain’t ever going to get shut of them—lots of times I dream about them” (116). __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Chapters 19-31: Lessons in Assistance and Betrayal QUESTIONS 1. What is a “confidence” man, a.k.a. con man? What scams have you heard about in your own neighborhood or state? Did these frauds prey on the confidence of the people they conned? How do the King and the Duke play on the confidences of people to get their money? What do they have to know about the towns, local people, and human nature in order to perfect their scams? 2. Though both men are criminal in their behavior, each is different in his understanding of and abuse of people. Make two columns and list the differences in the King and the Duke. How is one morally superior to the other? Which do you like least and why? 3. S Since Huck quickly understands the King and Duke are con men, why doesn’t he confront them or tell Jim? 4. How and by whom is Jim betrayed? Have other slaves been similarly treated by this character? How does Huck respond to Jim’s capture? 5. Twain is a master of satire and of irony. List ironic episodes in this section and explain how Twain uses them to affect readers.
QUOTATIONS 1. “Sometimes we’d have that whole river all to ourselves for the longest time…It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss whether they was made or only just happened” (120). 2. “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.…If I never learnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way” (125-6). 3. “’The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is—a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it is beneath pitifulness….If any real lynching’s going to be done it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion’” (145-6). 4. “What was the use to tell Jim these warn’t real kings and dukes? It wouldn’t ‘a’ done no good; and besides, it was just as I said: you couldn’t tell them from the real kind” (153). 5. “I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n. It don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so.…He was a mighty good nigger, Jim was” (153). 6. “Well, if ever I struck anything like it, I’m a nigger. It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race” (160). 7. “And when it comes to beauty—and goodness, too—she lays over them all…but I reckon I’ve thought of her a many and a many a million times, and of her saying she would pray for me; and if ever I’d ‘a’ thought it would do any good for me to pray for her, blamed if I wouldn’t ‘a’ done it or bust” (186). 8. “…deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can’t pray a lie—I found that out….I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’—and tore it up” (206-7). __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Chapters 32-43: The Rescue and Happy Endings: Realism vs. Romanticism, Reality vs. Imagination QUESTIONS 1. Define the words “adventure” and “heroism” as Huck would and as Tom would. Then compare each boy’s idea of how Jim should be rescued, according to these definitions. Who is the hero of this novel, Huck or Jim? List ways in which each has proven his heroism. 2. Why does Tom Sawyer so readily agree to rescue Jim, when Huck has understood that Tom hates abolitionists? Is Tom changed by his effort to save Jim? 3. How are heart and conscience in conflict in Huck’s seeing Jim as his friend and family, and as a slave? What details of their trip down the Mississippi does Huck recall that soften him towards Jim? How has Jim helped Huck be a better person? 4. Compare Pap and Jim as father figures to Huck. How has their treatment affected Huck’s view of family? (Is Jim’s mistreatment of his deaf daughter comparable to Pap’s abuse of Huck?) 5. Several characters have kept secrets from others in the novel. Jim doesn’t tell Huck he is free of Pap. Tom doesn’t tell Jim he was freed on Miss Watson’s death. Huck doesn’t tell Jim that the King and Duke are scoundrels and conmen. How would these truths have changed the outcome of the novel and the characters themselves had they been revealed? Is keeping a secret the same as a lie in these cases?
QUOTATIONS 1. “I went right along, not fixing up any particular plan, but just trusting to Providence to put the right words in my mouth when the time come; for I’d noticed that Providence always did put the right words in my mouth if I left it alone” (212). 2. “You’ll say it’s dirty, low-down business; but what if it is? I’m low down; and I’m a-going to steal him, and I want you to keep mum and not let on. Will you?” (218). 3. “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” (223). 4. “Here was a boy that was respectable and well brung up; and had a character to lose; and folks at home that had characters; and he was bright and not leather-headed; and knowing and not ignorant; and not mean, but kind; and yet here he was, without anymore pride, or rightness, or feeling, than to stoop to this business, and make himself a shame, and his family a shame, before everybody. I couldn’t understand it no way at all. It was outrageous, and I knowed I ought to just up and tell him so; and so be his true friend, and let him quit the thing right where he was and save himself” (225). 5. “Tom was in high spirits. He said it was the best fun he ever had in his life, and the most interlectural; and said if he only could see his way to it we would keep it up all the rest of our lives and leave Jim to our children to get out; for he believed Jim would come to like it better and better the more he got used to it” (239). 6. “I knowed he was white inside, and I reckoned he’d say what he did say—so it was all right now, and I told Tom I was a-going for a doctor” (263). 7. “…there ain’t nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if I’d ‘a’ knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn’t ‘a’ tackled it, and ain’t a-going to no more” (279). 8. “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 sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before” (279).
Analysis of Huckleberry Finn 15 points
Chapter 22; Reread Col. Sherburn's rooftop speech (pages 131-132). Col. Sherburn's speech undermines the myth of Southern bravery. Why did Twain decide to include this speech in the novel? Was this a speech Twain himself felt like making? Is Sherburn supposed to represent a true Southern gentleman of honor, while most of the population has devolved into embarrassing riffraff?
Behind the Mask - Exploring Stereotypes One of the major criticisms of Huck Finn has been that the character Jim is only a racist stereotype and that students will come away from the book with an image of him -- and African Americans in general -- as silly, superstitious, obedient, and passive. In this section, students define what a stereotype is, and look at the historical roots of African American plantation stereotypes, such as "Sambo," "Nat," and "Mammy."
Poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes will help students go "behind the mask" of stereotypes. These selections offer opportunities to discuss how the "mask" can also be a form of resistance.
Masks Mini-Write30 points Employing at least three of the poems below, answer the questions: What are some "masks" that oppressed groups use? What is the function of such a mask? How can masks be used as a form of resistance? Include direct quotes from each of the three poems you read.
The Development of Character in Huck Finn Discussion Questions 25 points
What is your first reaction to Jim? How do you feel about him by the end of the novel? Why?
To what extent is Jim a stereotype? When and how does he break free of stereotypical roles?
Compare Pap's treatment of Huck with Jim's treatment of Huck and of his own daughter.
What is your reaction to Huck at first? How do you feel about him by the end of the novel? Why?
What determines who we are -- nature (inborn traits) or nurture (environment)? How do you think Jim and Huck were shaped by these factors?
Have students reread the passage in Chapter 31 of Huck Finn in which Huck talks about the conflict between what his heart tells him to do about Jim as his friend and what his conscience tells him to do about Jim as a slave. Reflecting back on the Jefferson essay (see Section II), how does a slave-holding society influence its members to see slaves as inhuman?
Twain wrote in a journal that "Huck Finn is a book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat." What do you think he meant by "a sound heart and a deformed conscience?" How is "conscience" a theme in the novel in general?
What is a hero? Have students brainstorm a class definition. How is Jim a hero? How is Huck a hero?
What do you think is the climax of the novel? Why?
Art 10 points each Thomas Hart Benton’s 1936 mural, “A Social History of the State of Missouri” Examine the mural for scenes that tell the story of Missouri’s state history. Which theme(s) is most broadly depicted in this work?
George Caleb Bingham’s “Fur Traders Descending the Missouri” (1845) Consider occupations that are part of river life, in 1845 and now. Compare the economic reward to the danger of the job.
E.W. Kemble’s Original Illustrations of Huckleberry Finn with commentary Rockwell and Kemble illustrate scenes from the novel itself. What biases do these illustrators exhibit in their depictions of Jim, Huck, and characters from the novel? Would any of these illustrations be considered racist or stereotypical by today’s standards? How is art used in these illustrations to inform readers beyond the written word?
John Gast’s “American Progress or Manifest Destiny” (1872) One mark of civilization is social, political, and cultural advancement. In this painting, what or who represents progress? Who is not progressing in the work? What is the plight of those who are deemed uncivilized?
Music Spirituals and Slave Songs 20 points Each of these songs gives some insight into the lives, treatment, and hopes of slaves. While “Follow the Drinking Gourd” refers to gourds used for drinking water in the fields, it also refers to the Big Dipper and gives directions for escape and finding one’s way across the Ohio River to Free states. Other songs, though called spirituals, refer not only to achieving freedom through faith and death, but dually though running away.
Slave life left too many motherless (or fatherless) in separations of families, making these songs often mournful. Examine both the lyrics and texts of these works in connection with Jim’s and other slaves’ plight in Huck Finn. (Note that Huck is a motherless child himself). Find at least three specific connections between the songs and Huck Finn. Cite your Huck Finn textual evidence in MLA format.
“Follow the Drinking Gourd” “Deep River” “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” “Wade in the Water” (contains river imagery) “Many Thousand Gone” (or “No More Auction Block for Me”) “Run Mourner Run” “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”
Abolition Songs 20 points After reading the words of these songs, discern which were performed for abolition meetings in the parlors of movement leaders and which were more easily sung as marching songs. (Note that Huck is troubled by the prospect of being an abolitionist and what people in his slave state of Missouri will think of him should he help a slave escape). Select at least 2 songs from the musical traditions below, research the background of the song, its composer and its purpose and use. If it has an historical track record (like “Dixie” or “John Brown’s Body”), share the other versions you may find. Research the number of rewritings and uses of “John Brown’s Body.”
“The Grave of the Slave” “The Fugitive’s Song” “Get Off the Track!” “Lincoln & Liberty” “John Brown’s Body”/ “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (recorded on Tippecanoe and Tyler Too: a Collection of American Political Marches, Songs, and Dirges, Chestnut Brass Company and Friends, 1992).
Huck’s Ten Commandments 20 points List Huck Finn’s attitudes and behaviors that change during the novel. List the three most important developments in Huck as he matures and learns to take responsibility for his choices. List Huck’s Ten Commandments—beliefs he has come to understand as rules to live by. Discuss: Do these represent a genuine moral code that we should all embrace?
Economics 25 points From the outset of the novel, Huck and Tom are monetarily rich, although Huck is unable to use his money because of Pap. During the escape and adventure with Jim, he encounters people of every socio-economic level. How does he come to view wealth? How does Jim define wealth? How have money and the pursuit of wealth driven Huck’s story along the Mississippi? List the characters and events that are shaped by economics. What does their journey teach them about valuing themselves and others? What is a man worth, finally, to Huck, to Jim, and to the 19th century world?
Huck Finn Brand 25 points You have been commissioned to develop a Huckleberry Finn brand. The brand will be known worldwide for its clever use of literary references and its foundation in the grassroots of Americana. Develop a product inspired by the novel and create an advertising campaign to introduce the product to the world. Your advertisement must include: direct references to the text, details consistent with the novel and a slogan based on characters/details in the book.
Considering Plantation Stereotypes 25 points With a partner, find passages in the novel that reflect the plantation stereotypes you have studied. (Chapter 8 on investing money; the "French debate" in Chapter 14; Chapter 22 on stealing; Chapter 24 and the King Lear outfit; Chapter 42 and the entire ending in which Jim aids wounded Tom.) Does Jim ever go beyond being a stereotype? If so, when and how? Consider at least 2 passages, cite them in MLA format and address the prompt questions.
Group Mural 30 points each Your group (3 members) will create a “mural” relating to one of these options -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> A) Your mural should be designed to clearly portray your area’s subject to an audience who we will assume know nothing of your subject or the novel. Be sure to include prominently the name of the novel and the author. Your group’s topic should be clearly emphasized and defined. The purpose of your mural should be immediately recognizable to the viewer.
B) The clarity of you mural’s text is most important. You will use a minimum of five direct quotations from the novel in addition to any explanatory commentary you add. This text must be visually emphasized, not hidden among the illustrations.
C) Your illustrations may be hand drawn, or you may use cuttings from other sources such as magazines. You may not use drawings or photographs that already depict scenes from Huckleberry Finn. Remember that you illustrations are important in helping the view grasp quickly the subject of your mural. Avoid confusing your view with clutter. Also remember, your illustrations should primarily enhance your textual references. A balanced use of text and illustration is the goal.
D) Your mural will be graded on the over-all effect it has in quickly and effectively pulling your viewer into your subject. Textual references are very important here. Strive to use those that will be of the greatest interest and informational value to your viewer.
1. Satire – Twain is known as one of America’s foremost satirists, never afraid to hold up to scrutiny mankind’s many foibles. Certainly, satire plays a prominent role in Huckleberry Finn. The mural related to this area must clearly depict through the use of text and illustration five distinct areas of Twain’s satirical commentary relating to human customs, institutions, and/or weaknesses. Define caricature, juxtaposition, overstatement (hyperbole) or understatement, word choice, and parody and identify examples of each.
2. Prejudice – Twain makes many comments on the human condition in Huckleberry Finn. One of the social ills that Twain fights in the novel is prejudice. The mural related to this area must clearly depict through the use of text and illustration five examples of Twain’s commentary of prejudice.
3. Mankind’s Hypocrisy – Through Huck Finn’s narration we learn much about Twain’s opinions of humanity. Hypocrisy seems to be one of Twain’s most important targets for change. The mural related to this area must clearly depict though the use of text and illustration five examples of human hypocrisy depicted in Huckleberry Finn.
4. Imagery – Mark Twain, like many realistic writers, paints vivid pictures of a particular time and place, including photographic physical settings and accurate snapshots of people inhabiting them. Your purpose is to select what you consider to be five particularly strong examples of Twain’s use of imagery relating to places and/or characters and depict all five along with appropriate quotations from the text.
Huck Finn on CD 25 points Create a 10 song play list that captures the mood, tone, or themes from Huck Finn. Design a CD jacket with the play list, and give credit to the artists. In the 'liner notes' write 3-4 sentences explaining why each song is appropriate for your CD (minimum 30 sentences).
Images of Racism Poster 25 points Gather of images of racism and find quotations from the novel that touch upon slavery and/or racism. Then assemble a collection of images to illustrate each quotation. Sources about the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, slavery, and the history of African Americans are possibilities. Three to five images should be included with 7-10 quotations from the book. Use either a small or large piece of poster board and neatly display your work. Write a paragraph explaining your choices of images and quotes and what each signifies.
Character ID Cards 25 points Create a Huck Finn deck of cards. Draw each character and assign them a card. What does each character wear? What direct quote should be on his/her card? What background would be appropriate for each character? Which characters should be ‘suited’ together? Each card must be well drawn, colored and professionally displayed. Each character must have a quote. To fill the deck, include characters that would have been found on the Mississippi River during the mid-1800’s.
The Virginia Reel 40 points What dance would the people of Huck's time most likely be doing? Probably the Virginia Reel. This has been a popular dance since the beginning of our country. It is still danced by square dancing clubs around the country. It's truly a dance that represents the American spirit. Create a 3-5 minute informative / instructional video using video clips (the LMC has movie-making software.)
Authentic Recipes 20 points - 35 points with extra credit sample Let's eat! Find a recipe of Missourians of the 1830's and 1840's. Why would this have been a popular recipe? Why are the ingredients used? How would the recipe be prepared? For what occasions? Create a 1 page write-up including the recipe, answers to all questions and MLA citation of your sources. +15 extra credit points for creating a sample to share with the class. (Bring sample to class on January 6, 2013.)
Comic Strip 25 points Choose a scene from the novel that ridicules slavery, racism, or both and develop a comic strip based on this scene. You might choose to portray the scene as it is found in the novel, or you might use the scene as a springboard for developing your own idea for the comic strip. Possible scenes to consider: Jim imprisoned in the shed (Ch. 34-40), disguising Jim as an Arab (Ch. 24), and the sale of the Wilkes’ slaves (Ch. 27-8). Be sure your comic strip is a satire on the idea of racism or the institution of slavery or both. The comic strip must include at least 3 frames either hand drawn or computer generated. Be sure to include dialogue that is relevant and accurate for the characters used and the drawings are neat and understandable.
Jim/Huck Press Conference 30 points To truly understand and appreciate this novel, the reader must understand not only how Huck and Jim change as individuals, but also how they change each other. With one, two, or three other people prepare a "press conference" for Huck and/or Jim with at least one group member playing the part of each of these characters. The others in the group will become "the media."
Prepare questions and responses for this interview. For example, you might ask Jim how he felt when he was enslaved again on Phelps Farm. The novel can help in coming up with questions but also with responses true to the characters. You must have your list of questions approved by Mrs. Jendrzejczyk PRIOR to recording.
Each ‘character’ must have at least one piece of clothing that represents them during the interview. Additional credit will be given for complete costumes.
Using the Flip Cameras (check out in the library), video record your conference.
Runaway slave narrative 25 points Write a fictional, first-person narrative of a young runaway slave in a big city after 1850. Let your imagination have free rein, but try to be as faithful to history as possible. Narrative must be at least one page, typed, MLA format. Your narrative must be classroom appropriate. You must include a works cited page for your sources (you MUST have sources and include at least 3 researched facts.)
Post Reading Assignment Options
Literary Criticism 30 points After reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, write a short (200 to 400-word) critique, either of the novel in general or of a specific aspect of the novel. Follow the Criticism Writing Guide.
Exploring the Themes 35 points - Choose one topic Coming of Age: Huck’s Search for Identity- Select a novel or film in which the main adolescent character changes in the course of the story (To Kill a Mockingbird, My Antonia, Star Wars, a Harry Potter novel, A Separate Peace, a recent movie). List the traits that characterize the protagonist from the beginning of the story and how he/she has changed by the end of the novel or film. When does the character begin to change and why? As the character matures and grows up, how does his or her identity change? What stages or phases did the character pass through on the way to his new, or more mature, identity? Do you believe that all young people go through similar stages in the maturation process? Social Responsibility; Conformity and Civilization - These two themes, though distinct, engage Huck Finn from the outset when the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson seek to guide Huck’s development as a proper citizen with schooling, wholesome living, and religion, all of which Pap counters by teaching ignorance, abuse of self and others, and instinctive but uncivilized behaviors. Tom Sawyer tries to teach Huck how to live based upon his own readings of Romance fiction, lessons largely lost on practical-minded Huck. Interestingly, Huck learns about social responsibility, when and how to conform, and a truer meaning of being civilized from Jim, a runaway slave, and from negative examples of those who hurt others.
1. The “Golden Rule” is central to teachings in all major world religions. Ask students: What principles of living are suggested within this rule? What behaviors do we owe to our fellow beings? What challenges does social responsibility pose for us? Do moral guides such as the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule force conformity in a community or do they help a society free itself from fear and crime?
2. Make a chart listing simple ways you have been taught to conform (forming lines, raising hands, wearing clothes, using inside and outside voices, saying thank you and please), who taught them this behavior, and the reasons for these teachings. Discuss whether these acts of conformity have been good or bad for society.
3. Focus on ways of conforming that you consider bad for you and for your society (voting as another person says, mindless imitation of others in dress and behavior, memorization without meaningful learning, feuding) and the reasons for these behaviors. Under what conditions are social rules for conformity an abuse to its citizens? Do such rules create a civilized society?
4. Define civilization. Discuss: What behaviors would a civilized person and society exhibit? What factors would cause a person (like Huck Finn and Pap) to reject civilization in favor of freedom? Why do people still “drop out” of school and society? Can a person ever escape social responsibility, conformity, and civilization?
Friendship and Betrayal - 1. Without an initial act of friendship or promise, betrayal would be non-existent. After all, how can one betray a person or society he has not acknowledged and cares nothing about? The very act of betrayal suggests that in a world of friends and enemies, one has delivered the former to the latter. While Huck is still learning to be a friend, he plays pranks on Jim that are hurtful. Likewise, when Huck and Jim have helped the King and Duke, the pair abuse and take advantage of them, ultimately selling Jim. Write a short paragraph about what friendship means in your life. Which is more important: to be a friend or to have a friend? How does one go about learning to be a friend?
2. When have you experienced betrayal, either your own or someone else’s betrayal of you. What feelings did you have at the time? What lesson did you learn?
3. All betrayals are not of people, but can also be of principles. Have you broken or betrayed one of your own strongly-held beliefs?
Freedom and Enslavement 1. Any work set in the American South in the 1830’s involving a runaway slave and a white boy must perforce be about enslavement and freedom. Both Jim and Huck define and redefine what it means to be free, even as they encounter scores of kinds of slavery, from alcoholism and ignorance to racism and economic want. Define freedom with examples of what each type of freedom will do in their lives (for example, not depending on others for a ride=having one’s own car). Discuss: Are there occasions when freedoms involve enslavements, (for example, having one’s own car/freedom=paying for gas, insurance, tires and having to work for those things)?
2. Make a chart with two columns: My Freedoms and My Slavery. In each column, write ways in which you are free and ways in which you consider yourself enslaved. Do you feel enslaved by others or by your own traits and choices? Discuss ways in which you can free yourself from your enslavements. (Running away should not be an option here).
Essays - You must complete one of the following essays. Submit this essay to turnitin.com by 3PM, January 9, 2014.
Central Character 40 points Consider the assertion made by some literary experts that Jim, not Huck, is the central character. Do you agree or disagree? In a 2-3 page argumentative paper (12 pt font, TNR, double spaced), defend your answer. Be sure to support you answer by citing at least 3 specific passages from the book. You must include a works cited page for your sources. MLA format.
Is Huck Finn Racist 40 points In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is Huck Finn racist?Does reading Huck Finn help or harm race relations? Write a 2-3 page argumentative paper defending your belief. You must include at least 3 specific passages from the novel in your response. You must include a works cited page for your sources. MLA format. In a 2-3 page argumentative paper (12 pt font, TNR, double spaced), defend your answer. Be sure to support you answer by citing at least 3 specific passages from the book. You must include a works cited page for your sources. MLA format.
Lying 40 points Lying occurs frequently in this novel. Curiously, some lies, like those Huck tells to save Jim, seem to be “good” lies, while others, like the cons of the duke and the dauphin, seem to be “bad.” What is the difference? Are both “wrong”? Why does so much lying go on in Huckleberry Finn? In a 2-3 page argumentative paper (12 pt font, TNR, double spaced), defend your answer. Be sure to support you answer by citing at least 3 specific passages from the book. You must include a works cited page for your sources. MLA format.
Family Structure 40 points Describe some of the models for families that appear in the novel. What is the importance of family structures? What is their place in society? Do Huck and Jim constitute a family? What about Huck and Tom? When does society intervene in the family? In a 2-3 page argumentative paper (12 pt font, TNR, double spaced), defend your answer. Be sure to support you answer by citing at least 3 specific passages from the book. You must include a works cited page for your sources. MLA format.
Morality 40 points Discuss the place of morality in Huckleberry Finn. In the world of the novel, where do moral values come from? The community? The family? The church? One’s experiences? Which of these potential sources does Twain privilege over the others? Which does he mock, or describe disapprovingly? In a 2-3 page argumentative paper (12 pt font, TNR, double spaced), defend your answer. Be sure to support you answer by citing at least 3 specific passages from the book. You must include a works cited page for your sources. MLA format.