Unit Test Review of
Questions on Huckleberry Finn
Mr. Kendall's final thoughts, after all the smoke has cleared.


It's late Friday afternoon, and I'm struggling to resolve a lot of overlaps with the groups. Without meaning to hurt your feelings, I need to clarity and simplify the repetition and vagueness of some of your offerings.

I see groups 1B and 7 (tearing up the letter) merging into one question, just as 1A and 6 (human corruption) fold into one question as well. That leaves us with leftover "humans are icky and evil, and nature and the river (and Jim) are good" material.

I'd also like to have you practice in responding to a specific passage, although you may bring in other examples as well. Here's some possible ways of splitting material equally among the two sections:

A) Two similar questions, one each class period, on Huck's struggle with his friendship with Jim. Ripping up the letter obviously leaps to mind, but if we used Jim's chastising Huck for his practical joke about being lost in the fog as an earlier turning point, you could use similar examples in each.

B) Perhaps two other passage questions, one for each class, might include a reference to "The Royal Nonesuch" performance and the end of the Grangerford-Shepherdson feud, as parallels about human corruption and imperfections, vs. how Jim and Huck learn to treat each other on their own (what one of the critics in the Friday packet called "the code of the raft")

C) One abstract question, without a passage, in each class, about whether or not Twain blows it at the end of the novel, and perhaps another about either Huck's conscience or Twain's satire and humor (but we haven't really discussed this much, so that seems unfair).

So each class will have three questions, from which they will choose one, and have the entire period to write an essay question response to it.


Review of Small Groups Framing
Questions on Huckleberry Finn
(The suggestions from each group, from which I will largely use to form the actual essay questions)

1st Period

1A) "Corruption of the Human Race" 

(Candice, Morgan, Tory) MERGED WITH

2) Society vs. intuition (p. 191)

(Chelsea and Yvonne)

       page 162 or p. 175, chapter 24

            Wilks scam

            right vs. wrong, Huck contemplates turning Jim in, Chap. 16

            Whom is Huck loyal to?


Friday morning revision: What are some examples of Huck's internal struggles with his own morality versus 19th century society's principles?

1B) Letter to Miss Watson, which Huck rips up  (so basically, a verbatim of question # 7 in sixth period, right?)

 (Brittney, Amanda, Sefa)

Friday morning revision:
How does the setting affect Huck's morals on slavery?
How he is affected
~ Ripping of the letter to Mrs. Watson (Chap 31)
~Huck agrees to keep Jim's secret of him being a runaway slave (chap 8)
~Raft-small pox scare (chap 16)

Parts of the setting that make him change his morals on slavery
~ Time period
~ Setting of a powerful white society
~ How Huck was raised by Ms. Watson

1C) Living on a Raft (ch. 18, p. 116)

(Meg, Elsie, Catherine)

Friday morning revision:
At the start of the book, Huck disagrees with the widow's religious beliefs; how does this change throughout the novel?

            chap,. 31 (p. 212-213) wrestling with his concscience

            How does Huck's Environment affect his morals?

            rejects praying


3) Twain's critique on Humanity (p. 148)

(Amy, Melissa, Ava)

3) How does Mark Twain critique the humanity of the lower class in Huckleberry Finn? Give specific example

1)   Lynch mob and Colonel Sherburn's speech

   "Because you're brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a man?"  (Colonel Sherburn's speech to the lynch mob) (page 148)

2)   King and Duke's tricks

Pretending to be the family of dead person to get money, making people pay for horrible play, and pretending to be a minister to get donations to church

3)   Huck's father's barbaric manner

Abusive parent, stealing money from Huck, or being mad at Huck for learning to read

4)   Superstitious African American

Jim's silly witch story etc.

6th Period

4) Negative connotation of Family

(Rachel, Courteney, Shawn)

1) Pap beats him, steals money, kidnaps him (chapter 5-ch. 7)


            2) Miss Watson portrayed cruelly (chapter 1-ch.4)


            3) Sheperdsons vs. the Grangerfords (chapters 17-ch. 18)


            4) King & Duke using family to take advantage of orphans     (chapter 24-ch. 29)


            5) Sawyer family:  fall for lie, Huck is unhappy, enslaves Jim (ch. 32-43, specifically-they meet Huck and believe his identity lie in ch. 32√Čand then examples of enslavement of Jim throughout the chapters)


            6) Huck says he's happiest when alone (chapter 18 at the end-last paragraph and beginning of chapter 19)


            7) Jim's separation from family (chapter 23.  Near the end)

            8) Jim is the positive example of a father figure


5)   Huck's journey towards maturity

(Laurie and Michelle) 

Throughout the novel, Huck slowly grows up into a stronger and more independent person; however, many feel that Mark Twain contradicts Huck's maturity through his ending. Do you agree or disagree?

Ex. Of maturity :
- initially relies on those around him (Tom, Father & widow)
- hiding money from Duke and King and telling orphans
- choosing to help Jim to escape to freedom, even thought he was taught it was wrong
refer to Huck Finn packet, Leo Marx for ideas



6) Human Corruption vs. Innate Goodness

(Lauren, David)

the duke and the dauphin

            the people seeing "The Royal Nonesuch"

            the Wilks sisters


Innate goodness


         Huck's defiance of society's morals in protecting Jim


         Exposing the duke and the dauphin to the Wilks sisters


Combine with question #1 from first period

Add example of the people seeing "The Royal Nonesuch" and expand on how Twain criticizes his society, using examples.

7) How does Huck ripping up the letter to Miss Watson show the culmination of Huck and Jim's relationship? (so basically, a verbatim of 1B in first period, right?)

(Lilla, Carley, Paola)


Return to the A. P. Writing Page