Add the year 1884, the year the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published, to your timeline.
Also add the time span between 1835–1845, since Twain set the story forty to fifty years before 1884.
As you make this addition, consider how the events in the book might have been influenced by events in that period of history. For example, Jim is attempting to escape slavery, and Huck seems concerned about whether or not to help him.
Note the publication date in relation to the historical documents and other readings you completed in Lesson 1.
- Learn a bit about pre-Civil War America. Visit the America's Story Web site to learn more about the era that Huck and Jim "float through."
- Now that you have read some of Huck Finn, what leaps out at you from the historical records that didn't before? Revisit those historical documents:
- 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution
- 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution
- 15th amendment to the U.S. Constitution,
- Emancipation Proclamation
Take new notes as necessary, and update your timeline if needed.
- Does your timeline give you any insight into the characters' thoughts and actions about whether Twain was trying to represent the zeitgeist vis-a-vis both past (1835-1845) and modern (modern for him) historical events?
- What connections can you draw between the publication date and the comparison and contrast with recent events in American history?
- Record your thoughts on all these points in your journal.