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Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6 
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
Hello all,
I just joined the group and have started the book. First impression. The dialect leads me to think of Huck as dumb and I know that is stereotypical especially with me coming from Texas. I know the book is on the 11th graders reading list but I don't know how often it is actually being taught. Is there any input on its popularity within the schools today and how is it being used? Is it a platform for time period literature or an example of american lit.?



Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:23 pm
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
WildCityWoman wrote:
There's also a type of fishcake called 'faggots'.

My mother used to buy them years ago - they were done up in cone shapes - I really liked them.

I guess if faggots become popular again, they'll have to be called something else - ha ha! But they'll taste good just the same.


I know I should let this rather 'tasteless' conversation die a natural death, but weirdly I ran across another food called 'faggot', a british one no less, so i thought Penelope might weigh in on this:


" faggots are a type of meatball dish served in a rich gravy. Originating in Wales, a typical recipe includes:

•minced pork
•pig's heart, lites (lungs) and liver
•whatever other offal you can get, including spleen
•onions, herbs, salt and pepper, and breadcrumbs.
As if this weren't enough, they are then wrapped in part of the pig's stomach lining (caul) - this gives them the appearance of having been covered in a fatty net. " .....


I'm not squeamish but I won't eat anything wrapped in a stomach!



Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:35 pm
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
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giselle:

I'm not squeamish but I won't eat anything wrapped in a stomach!


Well then, I hope you don't eat MacDonalds burgers because they contain a lot more objectionable bits than stomach.

Actually, it's Burn's Night next week. Everyone must eat Haggis and Bashed Neeps ( mashed Turnips). I haggis is like a very large faggot. You need the whiskey to wash it down with. It has to be piped in by a man playing the bagpipes. We don't have a piper but we always buy a haggis (even though we don't like it) and celebrate Burn's Night. Any excuse for a bit of fun and a celebration at this time of year, Well, at any time of year.....at our house, it's any excuse to party.

Hello Maloma. I borrowed my copy of Huck Finn from my daughter who is an English teacher at secondary school. It isn't on the syllabus, but it is used to give an example of American literature, along with Steinbeck, here in the UK.

Welcome to Booktalk.....


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Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:30 am
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
Penelope wrote:

Well then, I hope you don't eat MacDonalds burgers because they contain a lot more objectionable bits than stomach.

Actually, it's Burn's Night next week. Everyone must eat Haggis and Bashed Neeps ( mashed Turnips). I haggis is like a very large faggot. You need the whiskey to wash it down with. It has to be piped in by a man playing the bagpipes. We don't have a piper but we always buy a haggis (even though we don't like it) and celebrate Burn's Night. Any excuse for a bit of fun and a celebration at this time of year, Well, at any time of year.....at our house, it's any excuse to party.


Excellent point. I don't eat MacDonalds burgers out of disgust so this would be a tough choice .. burger .. haggis .. faggot ..? In any case, think I'd go for the whiskey first.



Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:51 pm
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
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In any case, think I'd go for the whiskey first.


Yes a nice single malt can make anything taste more palatable!



Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:40 pm
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
I read recently that they don't allow the export of Scottish Haggis to the USA - because of the offal content, I think. So the Scots in the US who want one must seek other sources of supply.


Honestly - and we have the unspeakable MacDonalds.

Still, they did give us Mark Twain - and I am loving Huckleberry Finn - I haven't read it before, it must have been the Tom Sawyer ones I have read as I remember some of the references Huck makes to their adventures.

I love the accent and idioms in which it is written. I can hear his voice as I read it. And the word 'nigger' seems perfectly natural and inoffensive because it is not meant offensively, since Huck obviously doesn't rate himself higher.

I often hate it when dialect and accents are reproduced in novels. I love this one with a passion.

Has anyone mentioned the 'Notice by Order of the Author'?

It says:

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

It is just pure entertainment. I am smitten.


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Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:00 am
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
Well, I don't have occasion to get faggots - never see them anywhere anyway - and I haven't a clue how to make them.

But if I did, I certainly wouldn't stop calling them faggots - that's what they are and that's what I'll call them.

I don't let people 'steal words' from me - if I have occasion to use the word 'gay', to describe a festival, parade or something, I use the word - some people will not use the word, so as not to offend.

And BTW - I know gay men who actually refer to each other as 'faggots' . . . so I think as a society, we can lighten up on these words.

The 'nigger' word - I never use that though - never did. Even though some adults in my life, when I was a kid in grade school used the word, I did not - it's just simply a 'non-polite' word to use.

But there are people who go so far as to object to the word 'niggardly' . . . and it doesn't even mean 'negroe'. It means somebody cheap and petty.

Whaddya' gonna' do - can't please everybody, eh?



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Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:36 pm
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
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wCw - wrote:

And BTW - I know gay men who actually refer to each other as 'faggots' . . . so I think as a society, we can lighten up on these words.


And I know black people who call themselves niggers, but I wouldn't call them it...because it would probably offend them. The same with gay men....I wouldn't call them faggots, no matter what they call themselves.

I actually refer to myself as an interfering old busybody....but I'd be a bit miffed if somebody else called me that. :(


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Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:56 pm
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
Penelope wrote:

I actually refer to myself as an interfering old busybody....but I'd be a bit miffed if somebody else called me that. :(


Yah, but by this logic, if the person calling you that were an interfering old busybody him/herself then that would be ok, right?
:mrgreen:



Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:26 pm
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
Yes, it's Ok giselle, you interfering young busybody!! :D


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Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:00 am
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
Penelope wrote:
Quote:
wCw - wrote:

And BTW - I know gay men who actually refer to each other as 'faggots' . . . so I think as a society, we can lighten up on these words.


And I know black people who call themselves niggers, but I wouldn't call them it...because it would probably offend them. The same with gay men....I wouldn't call them faggots, no matter what they call themselves.

I actually refer to myself as an interfering old busybody....but I'd be a bit miffed if somebody else called me that. :(

That psychological game we play is interesting, when we take up the negative word and proudly wear it. I know a woman with a serious mental illness who calls herself crazy, but of course I never would call her that to her face. My brother-in-law was a cop who played on a softball team in the 70s called The Pigs. I say all kinds of things about myself that might sound negative, but I probably do it to in some way forestall criticism. It's a little mysterious.

Some black leaders have attacked rappers and others for their use of "nigger."


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Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:54 am
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
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DWill:

That psychological game we play is interesting, when we take up the negative word and proudly wear it.


Well, I know why I do it. Because some years ago I decided that if I saw something wrong or cruel, I would summon up all my courage and speak out. Not easy for me because, believe it or not, I have quite a fawning/obsequious, nature.

So rather than have people whisper behind their hands that I was an interfering old busybody who didn't realise - I wanted to just let the world know, that I was being like this from choice.

I think that is the thing with calling oneself those names, faggot, nigger, paki, chinky.....it is about displaying the fact that it is through 'choice' - a bit of dignity there then. Not having names inflicted upon us, but choosing.


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Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:27 am
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
After reading about the word "nigger" being replaced in new editions of the book, I was appalled. I can still remember being around ten years old, and where I grew up, schools very much emphasized how important it was to break down as many barriers as possible in regard to skin color. We were encouraged to play together, we were encouraged to learn about cultural backgrounds. We were drilled in history, or "social studies" as they called it, in every aspect of what a terrible time that was, how awfully the majority of the United States treated the black population. We had fiction and nonfiction all but rammed down our throats.

I enjoyed this learning process, mind you, and beCAUSE of all of the understanding and cultural lessons and history lessons, when I ran across the word "nigger" in HF, my heart nearly stopped. For a moment, I felt jarred. I felt sad because I could understand the fact that I was reading a classic and it never occurred to me that an "author of yore" would ever put a word as horrific as that in his/her work. Then I felt acceptance, not for the word in everyday conversation, but in those few seconds of outrage, shock and sadness, I got it. Reading that word was like a punch in the gut of comprehension, of what it really must have been like back then. It had a massive effect on me, and much of the rest of my class.

The only reason it had a massive effect on me was because I was educated before reading it. I highly doubt anyone uneducated would decide to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Students are obviously members of an institution of learning, so there is absolutely no reason to take out that word.

Sorry, been meaning to find a place online to rant about this for quite awhile. =)


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Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:36 pm
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
I think you make some valid points. I was not shocked by the use of this offensive word in the work, HF. However, I am often shocked to read this word in more contemporary fiction. You use the word barriers, and this is what this word creates. (sorry, I have a hard time writing it, I just call it the word). Using the word slave in its place would in a way make the book HF lose some of it’s power. Jim was a slave, but he was also called something else. This something else created a barrier, made Jim less than a human being, where being a slave gave Jim some humanity, he was valuable as a slave, but worthless because he was also something else. Huck struggles with how to feel about Jim and how to interact with him. At one point, Huck say, “Jim is white on the inside”. This sends a powerful message to anyone reading HF, and this message may be why this novel has become the classic that it is. Huckleberry Finn is a slice of life, Twain has not written anything new, but how he writes it really sends home the message of how blacks were considered. I think you are correct about your feelings. It was difficult for me to read how Huck did love Jim, but had a hard time accepting him due to the racism so rampant during this time. We now can call it racism, but in Huck’s eyes he really struggled with the idea that there was nothing substandard about Jim, but still had to deal with public opinion, this must have been very confusing to him. To be shocked by reading this word means that public opinion has changed. I do agree with you, the word should remain in the novel.



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Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:58 am
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Post Re: Huckleberry Finn/ chapters 1-6
Thank you Suzanne, I agree wholeheartedly with what you say.

I'm miles behind with my reading of this and must admit, that although I loved it and found it very evocative of a time and place, like, DWill, I think, wrote, I find the way Jim is portrayed as clownishly stupid; Living on strawberries until Huck comes a long and feeds him some 'proper' food; I am finding that hard to take.

I was thinking about an Amy Tan novel I read some time ago - wherein she describes her grandmother escaping from China. Her grandmother was a concubine of a rich man and when the communist soldiers came to attack, she escaped along with her servant maid. During their escape journey, the only reason the grandmother survived was because the servant knew how to subsist.

I like Mark Twain's honest style of writing, but I'm having trouble with his characterisation in this book. I know that both Huck and Jim are uneducated, so I wish Jim could have been the one to be resourceful.


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