Understanding Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

Understanding Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

by Claudia Johnson
     
 

Since the time of its publication in 1884, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has generated heated controversy. One of the most frequently banned books in the history of literature, it raises issues of race relations, censorship, civil disobedience, and adolescent group psychology as relevant today as they were in the 1880s. This collection of historical

See more details below

Overview

Since the time of its publication in 1884, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has generated heated controversy. One of the most frequently banned books in the history of literature, it raises issues of race relations, censorship, civil disobedience, and adolescent group psychology as relevant today as they were in the 1880s. This collection of historical documents, collateral readings, and commentary captures the stormy character of the slave-holding frontier on the eve of war and highlights the legacy of past conflicts in contemporary society. Among the source materials presented are: memoirs of fugitive slaves, a river gambler, a gunman, and Mississippi Valley settlers; the Southern Code of Honor; rules of dueling; and an interview with a 1990s gang member.

These materials will promote interdisciplinary study of the novel and enrich the student's understanding of the issues raised. The work begins with a literary analysis of the novel's structure, language, and major themes and examines its censorship history, including recent cases linked to questions of race and language. A chapter on censorship and race offers a variety of opposing contemporary views on these issues as depicted in the novel. The memoirs in the chapter Mark Twain's Mississippi Valley illuminate the novel's pastoral view of nature in conflict with a violent civilization resting on the institution of slavery and shaped by the genteel code of honor. Slavery, Its Legacy, and Huck Finn features 19th-century pro-slavery arguments, firsthand accounts of slavery, the text of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, and opposing views on civil disobedience from such 19th- and 20th-century Americans as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Stephen A. Douglas, and William Sloane Coffin. Nineteenth-century commentators on the Southern Code of Honor and Twain's sentimental cultural satire directly relate the novel to the social and cultural milieu in which it was written. Each chapter closes with study questions, student project ideas, and sources for further reading on the topic. This is an ideal companion for teacher use and student research in English and American history courses.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Although this guide opens with the expected literary analysis, it quickly expands its scope with discussions of censorship, racism, and life in Mark Twain's America. Each chapter is supported by documents and readings that add to the understanding of the novel's complex social and political issues. While the narrative is well written, it will prove challenging for less sophisticated students, and some of the source material, such as the complicated Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and the biblically oriented writings of Thomas Nelson Page, will put off many. Yet, Johnson balances the 19th-century topics with contemporary counterparts whenever possible; for example, a 1995 interview with a former gang member complements the section on codes of honor in Twain's time. Suggestions for projects, classroom discussions, and additional reading follow each chapter. A valuable resource for teachers and serious students.-Pat Katka, formerly at San Diego Public Library
Booknews
A collection of historical documents, collateral readings, and commentary designed to promote interdisciplinary study of Twain's controversial novel. Selections by fugitive salves, a riverboat gambler, and Mississippi Valley settlers offer insight on the slave- holding frontier and highlight the legacy of slavery and other societal conflicts. Other materials include a Southern code of honor, rules of dueling, contemporary viewpoints on censorship and race in the novel, and a 1990s interview with a former gang member. Includes study questions and topics for discussion and research papers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313293276
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/05/2000
Series:
Greenwood Press "Literature in Context" Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Lexile:
1310L (what's this?)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >