Kakos' 4th Hour

Reactions and comments from my fourth hour Honors American Literature class.

Name:

My favorite place in the world to be is underwater. My second favorite place is the front of a classroom.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Huck Starting Activities

Please design an opening activity for your assigned chapters. You can post discussion questions, provide links to relevant articles, paintings, or song lyrics, or design any other insightful activity that will get your classmates involved in discussing the text. Think about characters, symbols, themes, historical background, connections to contemoporary issues, or any other methods of analysis that engage you. Show off your creative side!

Remember that your post is due by 9 pm on the night before we discuss your assigned chapters.

51 Comments:

Blogger SuzanneC said...

At the end of chapter one, it seemed as if Huckleberry and Tom were meeting secretly. Is Huckleberry Finn's friendship with Tom Sawyer forbidden or looked down upon?

Is Huck's dad really still alive, or is he just in denial?

6:50 PM  
Blogger CaitlinZ said...

I researched some early literary criticisms of Huckleberry Finn, and a few caught my attention.

"Before the work is disposed of, Mr. Mark Twain will probably have to resort to law to compel some to sell it by any sort of bribery or corruption" (1 Boston Evening Traveller).

"As to the work itself, it is well described by the author, as being without a motive, a moral, or a plot"(3 San Fransisco Daily Examiner).

After researching different criticisms of this novel, choose one to support or disagree with.

If you want to read some more of these criticisms, go to http://etext.virginia.edu/twain/sfdaily.html

8:51 PM  
Blogger kennethf said...

I found this article concerning an annual whitewash contest in honor of the literary figure, Tom Sawyer. Link -www.vvdailypress.com/2004/108782402896647.html

In this incident, Tom is forced to whitewash (paint) his fence before he is able to go swimming. One of the neighborhood boys stumbles upon Tom at his work, and questions him about his whitewashing obligation. Tom replies that he enjoys whitewashing, and that he reckons that “there ain’t one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand that can do it [whitewashing] the way it’s got to be done.” Enthralled in the challenge and excitement of whitewashing the boy adamantly requests a turn. More boys appear on the scene, waiting their turns to be able to whitewash. At the end of the day, the fence is completely whitewashed and Tom very content. Twain humorously comments that if Tom “had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.”

I know that this isn’t in the beginning chapters of Huck Finn, but I thought it an important event that completely relates to the understanding and appreciation of Huck Finn, and it also brings up and interesting aspect of human nature.

8:52 PM  
Blogger lindzd said...

One quote from Huck's dad reminded me of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz "I'll lay for you, my smarty; and if I catch you about that school I'll tan you good" (p.22)It sounds cruel, but I'm rooting that Huck's dad is torn apart by a croc or something because that treatment just drives me nuts especially when he's complaining about a government that doesn't do anything for him only because he's a wasted dirtbag :[ For symbols and themes I'm seeing a pattern with the river and how that realtes to Huck. A river flows and like water it can trickle through cracks,etc. that reminds me of freedom or being free especially from the grasp of a irresponsible parent.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Robn said...

Is Judge Thatcher another immoral character that would cheat a kid out of $6000 (reflective of Mark Twain's cynical view of humanity) or is he a foil character that is genuinely trying to help Huck beat his dad?

Which leads into my next kweshtuhn...

The book seems to deprecate all the characters, even humanity in general, not just blacks. Is the book racist, or is that even a relevant theme?

P.S. My spelling of the word "question" is an example of local color, because my people, the Phoenicians, prefer to spell things phonetically.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Caitlino said...

The idea of family, what it means and how it is shown in this story seems to be a large part of the story at this point. There are many references to either Huck's father, or the widow, or someone else who seems to be family. Today in America we like to think we can prevent child abuse and neglect, and seperate children away from parents who are abusive, though I think the country does a poor job of really changing a bad situation like this. In the book the judge overseeing the adoption of Huck by either the widow or Judge Thatcher says, "court's mustn't interfere and seperate families if they could help it; said he'd druther not take a child away from its father" (24).
Is either the safety of a child or the idea of a complete family, no matter how destructive it may, more important or more valued than the other in our society today?

8:28 PM  
Blogger Matt Coming said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Matt Coming said...

What aspect of Mark Twain is reflected in Huckleberry finn?
What does Huckleberry Finn's volitile relationship with those who try to help him reveal about the hardships Twain had to go through.
You can refer to these web site as a reference http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/grant/peopleevents/p_twain.html

8:50 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth B. said...

When Huck's father was drunk, he went on a rant about the government givng blacks the right to vote and was upset that a mulatto was a profesor and making money. Did a lot of people feel the same way as Huck's father? Also, it mentioned the free mulatto could be sold if he had been there six months. Is that true?

Side note "Jim Crow" comes from popular minstrel shows around the time of the Civil War and Jim Crow was the stereotypical black man.

9:10 PM  
Blogger JeffN said...

As usual, I'm going to use song lyrics to describe this book. And I'm not going to focus on the passage that I read today, but a theme that I am finding throughout the book and through our pre-book studies, and that is racism and hatred. Blacks are obviously portrayed as secondary characters, shown as the stereotypical unintelligent and usless animal; stupid enough to play tricks on. The lyrics of the song "Where Is The Love" by the Black Eyed Peas seemed very relevent for this topic.

4:51 PM  
Blogger JeffN said...

Where Is The Love?
by Black Eyed Peas

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma
Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'
In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love
The love, the love

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations droppin' bombs
Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone
So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin'
in
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover
The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love
Where's the love, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love
The love, the love

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead in spreading love we spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found

Now ask yourself
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

4:52 PM  
Blogger kerstinm3 said...

Who do you think the dead man is? How do you visualize him?
What is his background?
Why was he shot and by who?

Here is a link to a van gogh picture that reminds me of the dead man(scroll down and it's on the left)

http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/artists/vincent-van-gogh/

8:52 PM  
Blogger Caylab said...

As I was reading, I was thinking about how/if our country has taken any drastic measures against child abuse. So, I looked up the Child Protection from Domestic Violence Act. This act states that any physical or mental abuse or threats are considered acts of domestic violence and should be taken into serious consideration before the courts as to guardianship. It does not state, however that children have to be removed from an abusive situation. It is all up to the courts so if a judge like the one in Huck Finn decides that he doesn't want to split a family, he wouldn't nesicarily have to.
This is scary to me. How many children are still living in an abusive situation in our country? As many as the system has saved, how many are left behind?

8:53 PM  
Blogger Cayleigh B said...

I found that when Jim talks about the superstitions he has and how bad luck would come, to be very interesting.
I know that our society and culture today is not very superstitious, but we all still are.
I have more than once knocked on wood, or thought twice about walking underneath a ladder. But, those are all common bad luck superstitions, so i found some that were really interesting.

Bad Luck: A bat flying into the house; an owl hooting 3 times; Looking at the new moon over your left shoulder; A 5-leaf clover; Breaking a glass while proposing a toast; Putting a shirt on inside out; Red and white flowers together; Hearing a rooster crow at night; Cutting your nails on a Friday; Getting out of bed left foot first; Singing before breakfast; Opening an umbrella indoors; An itch inside your nose; You must wear new clothes at Easter or you will have bad luck; Breaking a mirror means 7 years of bad luck, unless you take the pieces outside & bury them in moonlight (oh, now we know the counter-curse!); If you fasten a button into the wrong buttonhole; Stepping on board a ship with your left foot; i know this isn't bad luck but it was interesting...If the head of a bed is placed towards the north it foretells a short life, towards the south a long life, the east riches, the west travel; Seeing an ambulance is very unlucky unless you pinch your nose or hold your breath until you see a black or a brown dog; A bird in the house is a sign of a death; Keep cats away from babies because they "suck the breath" of the child (okay, thats odd...); wonder if this works...To cure a cough: take a hair from the coughing person's head, put it between two slices of buttered bread, feed it to a dog, and say, "Eat well you hound, may you be sick and I be sound."; If an eyelash falls out, put it on the back of the hand, make a wish and throw it over your shoulder. If it flies off the hand the wish will be granted; It's bad luck to say the word "pig" while fishing at sea; and the lists go on...

8:55 PM  
Blogger KatieC said...

What's the deal with Huck Finn's father? Why do you think that he is such a cruel, mean, hypocritical, and selfish person? How come all of a sudden, he shows up in the book and just like that, it seems, he kidnaps Huck and begins to control him without any real explanations of him? Do you think that this figure of authority, this father, is an aspect that Twain could be satirizing?

Ms. Kakos--Im so sorry, this is way late! I had rehearsal until about 9 pm tonight.

9:57 PM  
Blogger AleF said...

To me, these chapters seem to be related to the Garden of Eden story. Jackson Island is an isolated paradise that has all the food and water that Jim and Huck could ever need. Then Huck touched the snakeskin and placed a dead snake on the end of Jim's sleeping bag as a joke. Because of his foolishness--his "fall"--Jim is bitten by the snake's mate. Huck puts on foreign clothes to cover his identity, like Adam and Eve put on clothes to hide themselves, and while out discovers that they must leave the island of Eden. Is this a satire of religion or just a coincidence? What other connections with religion are there?

3:22 PM  
Blogger KerryL1005 said...

Throughout the book, Huck has made many references to Tom Sawyer. They were best friends and did everything together. When Huck leaves, I think he is missing his best friend. Throughout chapters 10-12, he talks about Tom, "Do you reckon Tom Sawyer would ever do this thing? Not for pie, he wouldn't. He would call this thing an adventure.... I wish Tom Sawyer was here."(74). This I came to appreciate because I dont know what I would do if I had to leave my best friend without any notice and never see her again. What would you do if you couldn't see your best friend again? How would you feel? What would you miss the most?
This also brought to my attention a song by Weezer. Here are the lyrics:
When everything is wrong
I'll come talk to you
You make things all right
When I'm feeling blue

You are such a blessing
And I won't be messing
With the one thing that
Brings life to my darkness

You're my best friend
And I love you
And I love you
Yes I do

There is no other one
Who can take your place
I feel happy inside
When I see your face

I hope you believe me
Cause I speak sincerely
And I mean it when I tell you
That I need you

You're my best friend
And I love you
And I love you
Yes I do

I'm here right beside you
I will never leave you
And I feel the pain you feel
When you start crying

You're my best friend
And I love you
And I love you
Yes I do

You're my best friend
And I love you
And I love you
Yes I do
Yes I do

I think this relates to Tom and Huck because they had such a unique relationship and Huck misses Tom when he is away with Jim. I will bring in the song tommorow.

7:37 PM  
Blogger KerryL1005 said...

p.s. The song is called "Best Friend" by Weezer.

7:38 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

"Sometimes I lifted a chicken that warn't roosting comfortable, and took him along. Pap always said, take a chicken when you get a chance, because if you don't want him yourself you can easy find somebody that does, and a good deed ain't ever forgot. I never see pap when he didn't want the chicken himself, but that is what he used to say, anyway."
This passage really stood out to me. Huck's dad is a bad person, but Huck still learns a good lesson from him. I think that Twain is trying to show that there is a little good in everybody and if you want you can find it if you keep an open mind, which is what Huck does. Are there other reasons Twain includes this passage? Is there really good in everyone?

8:15 PM  
Blogger KaiaN said...

As I was looking on the internet, I found portraits that Mark Twain asked a painter named S.J. Woolf to paint of him. They spent a long time talking about how it should look, the setting, what aspects should be involved, etc. And Mark Twain seemed very unconcerned about his appearance. One painting of him is even done in his messy bedroom. The only thing he did care about was his hair. He wanted it to be depicted perfectly in the picture, although I would never think his hair would be a particularly appealing feature. The other painting was done in his living room.
"It was there as a usual thing he would sit after lunch and smoke and dream. On one side of the room was a large organ, and often during the sittings either his daughter or secretary would play. Music seems to appeal to him, rather from the associations it recalled than on its own acount; and often when some old ballad or war song was played, a peculiar look would steal across his face, and his eyes would fill with tears.... But that seemed to be especially characteristic of him--no matter how deep the thought that engaged his attention, by a peculiar process of mental conjuring he changed his appearance, or perhaps his point of view, so as to make it present a lighter side."
(http://www.twainquotes.com/WoolfPortraits.html)

How does Mark Twain's appearance compare with Walt Whitmans?
Why would Mark Twain's hair be his main interest in his appearance? Does it show a uniqueness or protest to conformities?
Why would Mark Twain want one of his paintings to show his messy bedroom and him working in his bed?

9:06 PM  
Blogger Raychel H said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Raychel H said...

Yes, yes, I know that this is late, I completely spaced, but I still wanted to post this.

When I was reading I kept thinking of this song, it's called "Mr. Wilmington" here are the lyrics:

You dreamed he'd shine like the sun
Now you son is set
Hey dad, grab another cigarette
Ashes fall like an unpaid debt
Come on everybody place your bets
In seventh grade he dug his grave
Trying to be cool with the cool kids hey
Follow everything they say
You might fit in if you misbehave
At sixteen he promised he'd be clean
You didn't bend, but you sure did lean

You do not deserve this

Hey Mr. Wilmington
Yeah, I heard about your son
It's hard enough to hide your scars
In smalltown USA
Sweet Mr. Wilmington
Yeah I read about your son
Don't blame yourself, you raised him right
Remember that when you can't sleep at night

At twenty-one you found his gun
Hey dad, it's just begun
The ties that bind, they come undone
Come on everybody, just for fun
At twenty-four you found him on the floor
Decadence was all he wore

You do not deserve this

Hey Mr. Wilmington
Yeah, I heard about your son
It's hard enough to hide your scars
In smalltown USA
Sweet Mr. Wilmington
Yeah I read about your son
Don't blame yourself, you raised him right
Remember that when you can't sleep at night

At the funeral, read his eulogy
Insincere apologies
You do not deserve this
All the papers and press decide
Hey, just another suicide
You do not deserve this

Hey Mr. Wilmington
Yeah, I heard about your son
It's hard enough to hide your scars
In smalltown USA
Sweet Mr. Wilmington
Yeah I read about your son
Don't blame yourself, you raised him right
Remember that when you can't sleep at night


I have looked online for a site that has this song to listen to since my burner is broken, but I can't, I'm sorry.

11:57 PM  
Blogger JacobW said...

Having spent a good deal of time evaluating the other blog entries listed above by my clever students and peers, I have decided to make my entry as original as possible. Below is a rap composed by myself, which I will not, I repeat, not sing in front of the class:

Hip to Huckleberry: by DJ Danger

My name is Huckleberry I’m the one and only Finn,
Now crank up the beat if you’re ready to begin,
I planned my own death and I’ll do it again,
Cuz I’m the Huckleberry and that’s all I’ve been,

So rap me a song and rap it nicely,
I live by the M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P,
Add another I and you get the Mississippi,
That’s a lot of letters and I’m gettin kinda trippy,

Now check it,
I don’t eat my dinner from no clean shiny plate,
I eat it from the ground and that’s how I ate,
When I was with my po’ father who I used to hate,
But, now I’m rap-rappin at a rap-rippin rate,

So this one goes out to my escaped friend Jim,
Lot’s did I learn, lot’s from him,
Much did we do, do on a whim,
He was always there when the going got grim,

Now I’ll give a shout out to the author Mark Twain,
You can call him Samuel Clemens cuz it’s all the same,
He created me and Tom and so he’s to blame,
For this rap song a’bein so lame,

But oh how the Mississippi does spray,
Oh how the wind this raft does sway,
Oh how glorious Ms. Kakos looks today,
Oh how I hope, how I hope I get an A!

2:23 PM  
Blogger JocelynH said...

When Jim and Huck get into an argument of how French people talk, Huck uses an analogy of a cat and a cow and how they don't speak the same language. Jim tells Huck they are not the same species, therefore he wouldn't expect them to talk the same way. Jim thinks French people talk funny and should talk like Americans. If you look at Americans, don't Southern people talk funny compared to Western people? In a way, don't we all talk funny to someone else? What would be a good way to explain to Jim that everyone talks funny compared to someone else? Doesn't our native language have something to do with it to?

4:34 PM  
Blogger Sarah B said...

I related this song to The Crucible but I can also make some connections to Huck Finn. See if you can do the same, possibly from different perspectives?

How Come by Ray LaMontagne

People on the street now
Faces long and grim
Souls are feeling heavy
And faith is growing thin
Fears are getting stronger
You can Feel them on the rise
Hopelessness got some by the throat you can see it in their eyes
I said how come
How come
Everybody on a shoestring
Everybody in a hole
Everybody crossing their fingers and toes
Government man spin his politics till he got you pinned
Everybody trying to reach out to each other
But they don't know where to begin
I said how come
I can't tell
the free world
from living hell
I said how come
How come
all I see
is a child of god
in misery
I said how come the pistol now as profit
The bullet some kind of lord and king
But pain is the only promise that this so called savior is going to bring
Love can be a liar
And justice can be a thief
And freedom can be an empty cup from which everybody want to drink
I said how come
I can't tell
the free world
from living hell
I said how come
How come
all i see
is a child of god
in misery
I said how come
Its just man killing man
Killing man
Killing man
Killing man
Killing man
I don't understand
Its just man killing man

7:23 PM  
Blogger meganJ said...

While reading chapter 17, I became intrigued by the idea of Emmeline Grangerford and her artwork. It seems that she had a very sad and melacholic view upon the world expressed through her artwork. I became curious as to why she seemed so depressed, was there a specific reason? Or what about her obsession with the dead and creating sadistically beautiful "tributes" for them? And what do you believe her cause of death was? I drew a distinct connection between the artwork she created such as "And art thou Gone Yes Thou Art Gone Alas", and some photography I have seen before. Provided below are some links to photographs that I believe corrisponded with Emmelines' - see if you can make some connections too:
This one reminded me of "And Art Thou Gone Yes Thou Art GOne Alas"
http://www.deviantart.com/print/23549/

This one reminded me of her final one that she never got to finish...
http://www.deviantart.com/print/102853/

5:28 PM  
Blogger meganJ said...

Mrs. Kakos,
I just realized that those "links" that I put in my previous blog do not function as links. I did discover that if you copy and paste them they still work and you're able to see the designated photos that i chose. I'm sorry!!
Sincerely,
Megan

5:30 PM  
Blogger jacksonb said...

I noticed that the Widow Douglas's role in the novel came to an abrupt end, and I wondered how she felt about Huck's faked death. I found a song by the Rolling Stones that might represent her thoughts her feelings for Huck.

Childhood livin is an easy thing to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady, you know who I am
You know I can't let you slide through my hands
Wild Horses couldn't drag me away
I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or off stage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind
Wild Horses couldn't drag me away
I know I've dreamed you a sin and a lie
I have my freedom but I don't have much time
Faith has been broken, tears have been cried
Lets do some living after we die

7:39 PM  
Blogger collinm said...

During the whole adventure down the river it seems the people Huck has come into contact with have all been extremely nice and hospitable. For example the Grangerfords did all they could to help Huck. They met him out of the blue and offered him thier home and treated him as if he was part of their family. If Huck came to you. in his dirty clothes and ragged appearance would you help him in the same way?

8:07 PM  
Blogger willb said...

While reading chapter 17 I noticed Betsy was a lot like the mammy figure in the black face shows. Is Twain satirizing the slaves or the shows?

10:34 PM  
Blogger CaitlinZ said...

At the beginning of Chapter 22, Sherburn makes a powerful speech as the town is threatening to lynch him, saying that the average man is a coward. Does this reflect Twain's views of society? Do you agree with this speech?

8:11 PM  
Blogger SuzanneC said...

"So the duke said these Arkansaw lunkheads couldn't come up to Shakspeare; what they wanted was low comedy--and may be something ruther worse than low comedy, he reckoned."

I thought it was interesting Twain used Shakspeare. Is Twain referring to blackface entertainment when he says "low comedy"?

Who was Twain's target audience when he was writing Huck Finn?

8:21 PM  
Blogger Robn said...

The king and the duke have so far done nothing but cheat and use people. How are they using Huck, and how are they going to cheat him in the future?

Huck says, "It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race," when talking about the fraud of the king and the duke. Evidently, Twain views the entire who race very negatively, because they seem to either take advantage of or be taken advantage of (like how Huck keeps the king and duke around). Yet, the doctor voiced a message of reason and justice. Despite Twain's cynical views of humanity, does he believe in a hypothetical higher-entity, a prophet, or that mankind even has a chance?

Will evil, however prevalent, be punished in this book?

1:54 PM  
Blogger Matt Coming said...

Two symbols I have recognized thus far are honor, or the lack there of in the case of the Duke and the King, as well as money, which scrutinized further might represent the disparity between the rich and poor. So what about the times that Mark Twain lived, in did Twain want to criticize, such as the lack of honor in the general population?

7:23 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth B. said...

When the doctor tells the people of the town and the girls that the king and the duke are frauds, why does no one believe the doctor who is their friend and community memeber for a long time where as they have only known the duke and the king for a short time? The king and the duke do pull off basic knowledege of the brothers, but why don't the towns people further question them when the doctor has speculations about their identity? How come Mary Jane was just allowed to give the duke and the king the money? I though young girls at the time were not in charge of money or do anything without amale family member or friend. Also, why did the doctor just say, "All right, I wash my hands of the matter" (Twain 186), if he was really a family friend wouldn't he not let the girls hand over their money to people he thinks are fruads?

7:52 PM  
Blogger Cayleigh B said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Cayleigh B said...

As we were discussing in class, death is a very prominent theme thus far in the book. Every place that Huck and Jim have stopped, someone has died.

However, the duke and the king escaped death when they pretended to be the uncles. Did Twain not kill them on purpose? Why were they not hung?

Rob stated, "How are they using Huck, and how are they going to cheat him in the future?" I would like to know that answer also.

Do you think that Twain is only keeping the duke and king alive because they are con men? Perhaps he is sattirizing the idea of how humans con people all the time? Why did Twain not have them killed?

5:49 PM  
Blogger kerstinm3 said...

What kind of person does Twain want to represent through Mary Janes character?

Take in to account the fact that Mary Jane sympathizes for the mother and children, in slavery, that are sold apart.
Also the fact that she promises Huck she will follow his directions to go to Mr. Lothrop's house.

7:28 PM  
Blogger KatieC said...

Twain continues to subtlely add in satirical events and situations.

Twain has one of his characters, Sherburn, deliver an impressive speech about the reality and cruelness of human nature. Do you suppose that Twain has these words presented by a drunk murderer for a reason?

How does this emphasize his view of humanity?

How does this change how he wants the reader to interpret it?

7:34 PM  
Blogger Caitlino said...

Huck truly shows the basic human principles of truth and goodness, he shows his innocence and acts honestly and with only the best intentions. On the other hand the duke and king act out of their own greed and will sacrifice anything to make money. These two extremes come into close contact in the story, and seem to be quietly battling each other. Is this Twain's way of showing a battle between good and evil, or is he trying to illustrate something else? Why does he continually bring up the symbolism of greed, honesty, and innocence in this story?

7:55 PM  
Blogger Caylab said...

While reading these past chapters, I couldn't help but note a tone of abolishionalism(is that a word?. Between Mary Jane who sympathized with the split slave family and Jim standing up to the King and the "hare-lip" asking "how is servants treated in England? Do they treat 'em better 'n we treat our niggers?"(Twain 190).

Could it be possible that Twain disagreed with slavery and his undertoned notes in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" are his way of stating his point?

8:50 PM  
Blogger AleF said...

In Chapters 31-33, Huck breaks away from the duke and the king to find and steal Jim, despite his upbringing that freeing slaves is wrong. Is it possible that the difference in his behavior when away from as opposed to with the duke and king is significant? When he is with the duke and king, he either acts as they do or allows them to carry out their cons. When he is away, however, he follows his own judgment and acts in a way that nowadays would be right but at the time was wrong. He simultaneously acts like an adult by making his own decisions and acts like a child by sometimes making those decisions based on emotion, e.g., when he ripped up his letter to Miss Watson, and by usually following a relatively starry-eyed, innocent path. He carries this further when he meets up with Tom Sawyer and they trick the Phelpses in order to get to Jim. In short, he is getting the best of both worlds. Finally, Chapter 34 ends with a declaration that the conscience is senseless and therefore ultimately useless. How does this connect back to "The Damned Human Race"?

3:11 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

Throughout the story but especially in this reading, I felt that Twain is posing the age-old question of nature vs. nurture. "I tried the best I could to kinder soften it up somehow for myself, by saying I was brung up wicked, and so I warn't so much to blame; but something inside of me kept saying, 'there was the Sunday school you could a gone to it.'" It seems like Twain says that nature is prevailing. Is this connected to his disapproval of slavery? Does he think that all men should be able to realize it is bad even during the time period?

7:29 PM  
Blogger KaiaN said...

When Huck graples with his conscious about "right" and "wrong," how does it show Huck's true feelings for the morality of owning slaves?

"I got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me, all the time, in the day, and in the night-time... [and] I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him," (P. 235).

After Huck discovers that Jim has been sold, he attempts to pray and comes to the conclusion that he would go to hell in order to save Jim. But Huck finds that has grown fond of Jim and feels sympathy when he becomes "a slave again all his life, and amogst strangers, too," (P. 233). He even agrees to rescue Jim. Yet, he thinks saving Jim is wrong because society inplanted that notion in his head.

How do we contemplate "right" and "wrong" in our own lives?
How do we listen to the voices of society and how do we allow them to influence our lives?

8:31 PM  
Blogger KerryL1005 said...

Throughout chapter 33, Huck Struggles with how he left the kind and the duke and went on to bigger and better things. Not only does this create guilt that Huck always had on his mind, but the way he was beginning to think. Huck's maturity level definately rose on my scale after this chapter. His analytical views and the feelings of guilt he possesed made him seem older and more mature. "Well it made me sick to see it; and i was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals, it seeemed 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..."(254). Huck has guilt for seeing the king and the duke suffer as they were. How does society deal with guilt today? How are people viewed who desert their fellow friends and watch them suffer? Why do humans have such trouble with their conscience?

8:45 AM  
Blogger JacobW said...

In keeping with my theme of originality, I have developed the following original startup activities, which should not only be fun but also intellectual. Please disregard the last two suggestions. The list is as follows:

First, I propose that we each create our own board game that would modeled after Mississippi river and would involve certain characters and themes within the novel (for instance, land on red your dead).

Second, we could play a game, which I have neglected to remember its name. The game starts with all of the class in a circle. One person starts it off and says a word (obviously relevant to Huck Finn) and then the next person will say another word and so on.

Next, we could all go to the Mississippi river area, hijack a raft, pick up con artists and have a whirling-shindig-of-a-time. Southern style!

Lastly, we could all give Ms. Kakos a big hug and say that it represents Mark Twain’s love for beautiful English teachers.

12:22 PM  
Blogger JeffN said...

One idea that my discussion group was discussing was the idea about success. How do we define sucess? Do we define it on a moral basis or on a societal scale? Were the Duke and King successful?

3:47 PM  
Blogger collinm said...

Huck finn was filled with diverse people and situatuions. Every stop along the river introduced new characters, each with their own unique new lifestyle, morals, and appearance. What aspects that defined Huck made him able to cope and adapt to all of these people, situations, and events?

6:41 PM  
Blogger JocelynH said...

Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer have had a long, adventurous past together. Although they have very different thinking styles, what do you think keeps them together as friends?

For example, Huck is a simple-minded boy who makes short, easy plans that accomplishes his goal within a short period of time. Tom wants a more daring plan that requires more time and effort. What does the boys' plans say about their personality? What about their lifestyle?

7:07 PM  
Blogger meganJ said...

Throughout the entire course of Huck Finn and Jim's adventures it is apparent that they're constantly on the run. No matter what the problem may be, they're always running away from it. This makes me wonder if the main problem that inherently provokes their problems is the factor that they won't face their troubles and attempt to solve them. And does this inadverntently make them cowards? Will they one day learn, to conquer their troubles? And if so would the consequences be dire?Furthermore their journeys remind me of a song, once sung by Bruce Springsteen called "Born To Run".
Here is a clip of the lyrics:
In the day, we sweat it out on the streets
Of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory
In suicide machines
Sprung from cages on Highway 9
Chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected
And steppin' out over the line
Oh, baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

~Do you believe that these lyrics relate to Huck and Jim's constant troubles? Do you see any connections or metaphors that could futher describe their troubles?

8:30 PM  
Blogger jacksonb said...

When Huck and Tom try to free Jim, Tom treats the mission as a game, rather than an act that could endanger Jim's life, coming up with all sorts of irrational ideas of how they can free Jim. Huck starts to realize that he may be smarter than Tom, someone he has always looked up to. What could Twain be symbolizing here?

10:19 AM  

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