The End of a Beginning

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by Durfee130519
Last updated 7 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Reading Comprehension

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The End of a Beginning

“Weight of Living, Pt 1”The song discusses letting go of past mistakes, as Huck has done throughout the novel by helping Jim and realizing the inhumanity of Southern culture. The lyrics “ There's an albatross around your neck, All the things you've said, and the things you've done, Can you carry it with no regrets, Can you stand the person you've become” are a depiction of Huck’s feelings as he felt trapped in his actions earlier, not sure if helping Jim was the right thing to do. Now, at the end of his journey, he realizes that helping Jim was the right thing to do and he has no regrets about any of his words or actions.

Episode 10Chapters 34-43

The End of a Beginning

SettingThe novel takes place along the Mississippi River, in slave territory. The main character, Huck, is isolated from Southern culture throughout most of the novel but is occasionally exposed to it again. When Huck is away from Southern culture he sees the humanity in Jim and inhumanity of Southerners, causing him to grow as an individual. When he is exposed to the Southern ways again, he begins to act like the Southerners, forgetting about any humanity he had seen in Jim. This could show how Twain is suggesting that it is possible for Southerners to change their ways, but only if they are allowed to see the humanity of slaves, which they are not in the Southern culture. Episode 10 begins and ends on the Phelps plantation, where slavery is accepted and the humanity of slaves is not fully recognized, however, Huck sees the humanity in Jim which allows for a romantic ending rather than a realistic ending.

New CharactersJim: A slave of Miss Watson’s who Huck befriends and helps bring to freedom. Jim is a father figure to Huck throughout the novel and is often seen putting Huck’s needs before his own. He allows Huck to grow as an individual and see the humanity in slaves. By seeing the humanity in slaves, Huck is able to get past the stereotypical Southern mindset that slaves are just ignorant property and not people. Tom: Huck’s adventure-craving friend and role model who provides an example of a simple Southern boy who accepts Southern culture undoubtedly. He is a foil of Huck’s throughout the novel, their only difference being his blind acceptance of the Southern culture whereas Huck questions its morality. Tom grows slightly when he helps Jim escape to his freedom, even when it is frowned upon in society to do so, but does it only for the adventure. His growth, though slight, shows how all Southerners have the capability to get past their culture.

Is it possible for a culture as a whole to get over its past ideas and morals?

Is it ever acceptable to put others in danger for your own desires?

Essential Questions

Author's PurposeTwain purposely chooses to have Huck struggle in his evolution to expose the reality of the change in Southern culture, which would not be able to change for the better all at once and would experience some mistakes on the way. Twain chooses to end his novel romantically in order to show how everything can end, in a sense, perfectly when everyone comes to realize the inhumanity of the Southern culture and change for the better, as Huck did and thus caused his adventure came to a romantic closing.

Huck's EvolutionIn the beginning of the novel, Huck shares the same beliefs and morals as Southerners like Tom, but is different because he questions the morality of Southern culture unlike the others. After meeting Jim and recognizing his humanity while secluded from the Southern culture, Huck begins to break away from being like the Southerners; despite the fact that he had been raised in their culture. After repeatedly being thrust back into the Southern culture with Jim, Huck had shown signs of losing his growth and again, not seeing the humanity in Jim. Ultimately, in this episode, Huck shows signs of growth again after being happy that Jim was free. When he allowed Tom to extend Jim’s time being a prisoner, Huck had –in a sense- taken a step back in his evolution because he did not see the suffering Jim had been enduring while his freedom was in jeopardy due to him being back in confinement. He then helps to free Jim and is genuinely worried while he is once again is trapped on the plantation. Huck is pleased in the end when Jim is free, showing how he had evolved to see the worth in Jim and the necessity of his freedom.


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