The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

By John Grover Mrs. G's 7th period

Synopsis

Huckleberry Finn, a poor boy with a drunken bum for a father has recently come into money because of previous adventure where he and Tom Sawyer acquired a bag of gold. His adopted mother a widow puts him into school and forces him to dress nice and act like a proper person although he doesn’t want to do so. One day his drunken father goes into town and try’s to collect Huck’s money and fails but several months later in a drunken rage he kidnaps Huck and take him to a home in St. Petersburg. There he beats Huck and locks him up when he leaves. Huck finally escapes and finds refuge on an island in the middle of the Mississippi and meets Jim, a runaway slave. After hearing news that town’s people can see smoke coming from the island they set off on a wood raft in search of the Ohio fork of the river. One night they encounter a group of runaway slave captures but Huck saves Jim by telling them his father is deathly sick with smallpox and they continue to float down the river past the Ohio fork. Huck and Jim then become separated when a boat runs into their raft and Huck ends up in the middle of a feud between aristocratic families. Jim returns to save Huck from the middle of a gun fight and continue on their journey to the slave free states. Along the way they encounter two con artists who attempt to rob two brothers’ assets who are on their way back from Europe. After a failed attempt they continue but then the two men sell Jim to local farmers who hope to cash in on the reward for Jims return. Huck meets up with Tom and together they formulate and prepare to free Jim. After freeing Jim Tom is shot in the leg and Jim gives up his freedom to nurse him. Jim ends up in chains but the Tom reveals that Jim is a free man since his slave owner has died. Huck learns that his father has died and he decides to move west.

Themes

Racism- Although Twain wrote this book several decades after the civil war and slavery was abolished, racism still ran rampant through the south and Jim Crow laws were imposed to restrict African American freedoms and privileges. He wrote this book in the period before the civil war and by exposing the hypocrisy of slavery, he demonstrates how racism distorts the oppressors as much as it does those who are oppressed. The result is a world of moral confusion, in which seemingly “good” white people such as Miss Watson and Sally Phelps express no concern about the injustice of slavery or the cruelty of separating Jim from his family.

Moral Education- Throughout the book Huck questions the teaching and education he receives because being a poor orphan himself, he distrusts the very morals and perceptions of society that cause him to feel like an outcast. Even more so as he continues on his travels he witnesses the dark side of slavery and being alone on a raft for a long part of the journey he creates his own sense of morals and education that he believes are true and right.

Hypocrisy of Civilized Society- Not only does Twain use Hypocrisy in the form of slavery but he also uses it in Religion. In one town that Huck and Jim arrive at, both go to the house of the Grangerford’s. Within the Grangerford’s house is bibles and art work of family members, symbolizing how the Grangerford’s are religious, family people. Opposite to the Grangerford’s supposed religious beliefs, the family is in a confrontation with the neighboring family, the Shepherdsons. Twain shows how many families are only impo when it comes to believing in religious values. Pretending to be religious is simple, and Twain shows how people use religion at convenient times, rather than truly believing in religion’s values.

Key Elements

One of the most important scenes in Huckleberry Finn is the first paragraph where Huck contemplates the difference between lying and not lying. This helps highlight his moral compass and relates to the theme of moral education where Huck struggles to find what he thinks is right compared to the hypocrisy of “civilized society.”

The second most important scene correlates with the first and this is when Huck writes a note to turn in Jim the runaway slave. After contemplating with the devil and angel on his shoulder he decides to tear up the note and continue helping Jim. This highlights the character of Huck and shows he has finally learned his own moral code and learned what he thinks is right and wrong.

Movie Review

I really enjoyed the Disney movie version of Huckleberry Finn. The acting wasn't half bad and the scenes that were used were detailed and well filmed for a older movie. My favorite scene was where Huck and Jims raft runs into a steamboat. It reminded me of a Indiana Jones movie scene where he escapes a seemingly impossible situation with wit and athleticism. The special effects even for a old movie made the Mississippi river come alive. The one downfall of the whole film however is the fact that the film is a Disney film. Although they make good movies, they are often light hearted and darker/realistic scene that portray the truth are not included because the movie is intended for a younger age crowd. It lightens the idea of slavery and portrays the adventure as more of a game of hide and seek than a man running for his life.

Summarization of my new Interpretation

My spinoff of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will take place in Europe during World War II. Huck, a young boy with a sense of adventure feels ostracized my society because of his denial to conform to the Nazi Regime so he hides in a forest in the outskirts of Berlin Germany. This is an effective scene for the movie because just like where Huck lived, the Antebellum south that persecuted African Americans is very comparable to the Nazi party lead by Hitler that lead genocides against groups like the Jews. This also helps to lead to the other major character in the story, Jim. In the original version he is a runaway slave trying to gain his freedom and in the new Version he is a runway Jew trying to escape the Nazi regime. Together they survive in the forest. Huck just like in the original version is out casted because he doesn’t believe what the Nazis are doing is right and throughout the book and his adventure he tries to educate himself on what he believes is right. When Huck hears that a Nazi scout team has seen the smoke from their camp he panics and they begin their journey through the forest to get to Switzerland which has remained neutral during the war and is a relatively safe place for Jim to be. One day as they are walking through a forest a group of Nazis spot the two men and question them. To protect Jim, Huck tells the soldiers that he is also a fellow Nazi and was escorting Jim to a concentration camp himself. Several weeks later Huck finds himself stuck between a family that wants to turn Jim and himself in and another family that wants to let them go free. As this situation escalates Huck and Jim are able to escape while the families arguments turn violent and lead to a fun fight. As they continue they meet two robbers and together as a group they head towards Canada. Along nearing the border the two burglars attempt to rob a village and are caught by Hitler’s secret police. When the two reach the Swiss border Jim is captured by German police on the border. As Huck feels all hope is lost a local Swiss boy informs the group that the United States has taken Berlin and that the war is over. Jim gains his freedom and is overwhelmed by his since of safety while Huck learns who he really is.

The dark truth

Character Casting

My character who will represent huckleberry fin will be young and fit. His build will be short and stocky, he will be extremely lean yet muscular which would be evident of somebody who is living off of the land. His body will be gritty and dirty because he does not have proper cleanliness. He will be uneducated and considered ignorant in the realm of society because he doesn’t have a proper education but he will be intelligent and independent beyond what any normal kid this age would be. He has a drive for exploration and a desire to find himself. His character will be defined in the scene where Huck is living on an island of the Mississippi and meets a runaway slave named Jim. This scene will be replicated in Europe. On the outskirts of Berlin Huck will hide in a forest from the Nazi party and meet a runaway Jew named Jim. This scene will show his true character and will complement his physical features and personality. Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman would be good choices for actors to play Huck’s role. Although they are older than would be desired their physical attributes work well for the role and It would be better to have older actors because they are portraying a darker ,more morbid and realistic truth than the Disney movie.

Setting

I will use the setting of Europe during World War II for my movie and portray Huck as a German who doesn’t want to conform to the Nazi regime. This will be an effective scene because it is a society where a group of people are persecuted but unlike that of the antebellum south it will be persecution against the Jews.

Pictures

I used pictures to help create a image in the readers mind so they can understand the lesson and moral of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These pictures of Nazis are there to contrast the idea of slave owners although they are different in many aspecst they are also very similar.

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