"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" (Huckleberry Finn 1).
The Huckleberry Finn unit will be conducted entirely online, independently. Students will explore, read, engage, discuss and create prior to, during and after reading the novel.
ALL WORK SHOULD BE SUBMITTED IN CLASS - EACH DAY SOMETHING SHOULD BE SUBMITTED.
Green colored words are Internet links. Click on them to go to your assignment/text.
You may complete additional assignments up to 30 points.
Speech - Personal Philosophy Speech. Follow the instructions on the handout to create your own personal philosophy speech. Be prepared to give your speech on January 5, 2014.This satisfies the course requirement for a speech in quarter two- IT IS REQUIRED.
Quizzes - Finish this assignment on time since all other assignments are based around having a basic understanding of the story. You will have 5 quizzes to take covering each section: Ch 1-8, Ch 9-18, Ch 19-24, Ch 25-33 and Ch 34-end. Quiz #1 Chs 1-8 December 2, 2014 Quiz #2 Chs 9-18 December 8, 2014 Quiz #3 Chs 19-24 December 12, 2014 Quiz #4 Chs 25-33 December 16, 2014 Quiz #5 Chs 34-end December 18, 2014
Resources Sparknotes - No Fear Literature gives you the original text on the left-hand page, and an easy-to-understand translation on the right.
Librivox.com has an audio version of Huckleberry Finn. If you are having trouble understanding the dialects, go online and listen to the story as you follow along in your book. Not understanding the language is NOT an excuse for not having your reading assignment completed on time.
Introduction to the novel A study of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an adventure in understanding changes in America itself. The book, at the center of American geography and consciousness, asks readers to reexamine definitions of “civilization” and freedom, right and wrong, social responsibility and inhumanity. Published in 1885, the novel recounts those pre-civil war days when the controversy over slavery, with designated slave and Free states, disfigured the face of America and its view of itself as a land of the free. Both geographically and otherwise, the story is an examination of life at the center: the center of America’s premiere river, the Mississippi in the middle of the geographical United States, with slave states below, free states above, which is the route toward freedom and escape for Huck and Jim; the center of one of the foremost conflicts on American soil, slavery, which soon results in a civil war; the center of the coming of age of both a young man and a nation that struggle to understand redefinitions of nationhood and freedom, right and wrong; and the center of a shift from Romanticism to Realism in art and letters that would provide for a new way for Americans to express—and re-create—themselves.
The novel offers an excellent example of American picaresque fiction and meaningful use of dialect, although this dialect may be difficult reading for students for whom English is not a first language. Although the final chapters of the book seem rushed and rife with coincidence, the young picaro, Huck Finn, renders the story readable, convincing, and provocative. The work itself offers the reader so much more than a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the humor for which Twain is known; for in Huckleberry Finn’s voice—a voice as black as it is white and as poor and uneducated as it is honest—we are placed at the center of several controversies, both those within the novel and those of censorship that have surrounded the book since its publication.
Often considered Twain’s masterpiece, it is not surprising perhaps that it took him some eight years to complete the manuscript, from 1876 to 1884, a period in which he wrote and published eight other works, including A Tramp Abroad, The Prince and the Pauper, and Life on the Mississippi, all of which contribute to the realism of characters and prose within Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. While the novel is not an easy one to teach or to read, it is a profoundly important work in American letters, calling for a sophisticated level of understanding of the difference between Huck’s narrative voice and Twain’s use of that voice. As Shelley Fishkin suggests in “Teaching Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “Mark Twain’s consciousness and awareness is larger than that of any of the characters of the novel… Huck is too innocent and ignorant to understand what’s wrong with his society and what’s right about his own transgressive behavior. Twain, on the other hand, knows the score.” Ralph Ellison, referenced in Fishkin’s article, agrees that some critics of the novel confuse the narrator with the author. Regardless of its detractors, the novel has stirred controversy since 1885, both as a commentary on American race relations, class divisions, and violence, and as an examination of humanity’s social responsibility attendant in its pursuit of freedom. Because it brings to the classroom discussions of race, conformity, slavery, freedom, autonomy and authority, and so much more, students and teachers must prepare to be open about these subjects and consider strategies to encourage honest and respectful debate. Despite censorship, the book has been published in over 100 editions in more than 53 languages around the world as both an American classic and a study of moral dilemmas facing all humankind.
Historical Context 30 points Research 19th century reforms: abolition, women’s suffrage, utopian societies, prison and asylum reform, educational reform, and political reform. (Choose one.) Focus on the goals and outcomes of your particular reform. Create a 10 slide PowerPoint presentation of your findings. Be sure to include a works cited slide at the end and cite any information you directly copy or paraphrase in MLA format. Your work should be MOSTLY PARAPHRASE. (Do NOT copy and paste.) A good place to get started: Start here.
25 points Read Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments” from History of Woman Suffrage (Seneca Falls convention on women’s rights, 1848) and Sojourner Truth, “Ain’t I a Woman?” (from her speech at a woman’s rights convention in Akron, Ohio in 1852). While both works deal with the women’s movement in the United States, Truth’s status as a slave complicates the issue. If Truth’s argument results in her being treated as a woman, then enslaved males must be accorded status as men. How will this recognition confront existing laws? Considering that women in Huck Finn are widowed, spinsters, or unmarried—women who introduce troubled boys to religion, education, and civilization— describe the role of women during the reform movements and in the novel. Make at least three connections, citing specific evidence from the novel and your research.