English II CP: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn In-Class Essay

Topic 1 – HUCK: Sound Heart,
Deformed Conscience / Topic 3 –THE HUMAN RACE:
Where did we go wrong? / Topic 2- JIM: Mark Twain’s
Moral Ideal
Twain Quotation:
-Huck Finn is“a book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat.”
-A sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience.
-The conscience--the unerring monitor--can be trained to approve any wild thing you want it to approve if you begin its education early & stick to it.
- The Moral Sense teaches us what is right, and how to avoid it--when unpopular. / Twain Quotation:
-Isn't man a creature to be ashamed of in pretty much all is aspects? Is he really fit for anything but to be stood up on the street corner as a convenience for dogs?
-There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.
-Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat. / Twain Quotation:
-Our Civil War was a blot on our history, but not as great a blot as the buying and selling of Negro souls.
-It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.
- It has always been a peculiarity of the human race that it keeps two sets of morals in stock-the private and the real, and the public and the artificial.
- The most permanent lessons in morals are those which come, not of book teaching, but of experience.
Thesis Statement Ideas:
*Huck’s journey to maturity
*Why Huck never fully overcomes his deformed conscience
* Huck’s struggle to choose between the example of Jim (Sound Heart) and Tom (Deformed Conscience)
/ Thesis Ideas:
*The ending of Huck Finn is a study of human hypocrisy
*Twain uses the Duke + Dauphin, or Tom, or Sherburn, or the Feud, to explore some fundamental flaws in human nature
*The purpose of the novel is to make readers “ashamed of the human race,” as Huck says
/ Thesis Ideas:
*Jim as Huck’s true Friend, Father or Hero
*Jim as ironically the most “human” character in the novel, despite the fact that he is called property
*Jim as a demonstration and critique of the negative effects of slavery on black individuals
Scenes you may want to reference:
-Huck spares Jim
-Huck fools Jim
-Huck tears up the letter
-Huck gives into Tom
-“White Inside”
/ Scenes you may want to reference:
-Slavery scenes
-The feud
-The Duke and Dauphin
-Tom Sawyer / Scenes you may want to reference:
-Jim’s discussions of his family
-Jim helping Huck throughout the novel
-Jim sacrificing his freedom for Tom

TASK: Craft an original thesis about a character or theme in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finnand defend it in a four-paragraph essay, referring to at least two scenes from the novel. (100 points)
4 paragraphs: Intro, 2 Body, Conclusion
5 Quotations: 1 from Mark Twain (intro), 4 from the novel (body paragraphs)
Class Period 1 (Thursday 3/17 A, Friday 3/18 B):
-Start by deciding what you want to write about.
(The three broad topics are Huck, Jim and the Human Race.)
-Once you have chosen a topic, narrow it into a specific thesis statement. What are you going to say
ABOUT Huck, Jim or the Human Race?
(See suggestions to get you started.)
-Begin to investigate specific scenes in the novel for quotations to back up your interpretation of the
story. Quotations are “textual evidence” that proves your point by showing that your ideas are
consonant with the novel. (This is where your posters can come in handy – you have 10 quotations
right there, labeled and connected to specific events!)
-Due before end of period: Thesis Statement
-When finished with this, begin outlining. Prepare as much as possible. (Outline due next class)
Class Period 2 (Monday 3/21 A, Tuesday 3/22 B):
-You will write your essay during this period
-You will already have:
1. Thesis statement
2. Five quotations – one from Twain, four from the novel
3. An outline of the full paper
-You can also pre-write any section of the essay at home, or even just pre-type your quotations.
-You are allowed to bring in a laptop to write the essay, but you must have a flash drive.
-The biggest challenge here is figuring out how to use your body paragraphs. You only have two, but each needs two quotations from the novel. I recommend focusing each body paragraph on one example or aspect of your topic, then finding two quotations – possibly from the same chapter or section – that help you make the argument you want to make.
-Stay focused! Always know what the overall point of the paragraph is. If a sentence doesn’t add to the point, get rid of it. Short, clear sentences are better than long, rambling ones that go nowhere but fill up space. Quality, not quantity, will be the substance of your grade!
-Don’t fall asleep. (You know who you are!!)