How are we to read the ending of Huck Finn
Please use the attached reading from Toni Morrison for the assignment and reference it in the paper. The guidelines for the paper are attached as well. I would like you to write on prompt #6, “How are we to read the ending of Huck Finn….” Thank you
English 270B S2020 Prof Lawson
Paper #1 due in dropbox and hardcopy in class on .
Requirements : 5 pages, typed, double-spaced, standard font, 1 inch margins (approximately 1250 words).
Choose one of the following topics . Each one requires that you narrow the topic down by selecting a
specific text or character or theme, that you develop a thesis of your own, and that you use evidence from
the text to support your thesis. You may modify one of these topics or develop your own, but check
with me first if you are going to do that to make sure you are on the right track .
1. We’ve discussed independence from societal expectations as an American trait in regard to many
characters, male and female. Choose one male character and one female character from the works we’ve
read, and discuss how each one manifests this independence. Use the comparison to support a statement
about the consequences and opportunities of independence in American literature.
2. Emerson suggests that society corrupts self-reliance, yet some authors—Zitkala Sa, Henry Adams,
Stephen Crane, among others—seem to suggest that society, or, more broadly defined, culture, creates or
sustains individual identity. Using one or two authors, discuss how they represent individual identity as
social or cultural in contrast to Emerson’s notion of self-reliance.
3. What are the consequences of “American innocence” for a female character? Using the tropes of
American innocence that we’ve discussed (the American Adam, the pastoral, cosmopolitanism and so on)
as a starting point, write a paper that analyzes this theme in terms of the female experience. Use a
character or figure from one or two works for textual evidence to support your argument—for example,
Daisy Miller , “A White Heron,” “The Virgin and the Dynamo,” or “Editha.”
4. We’ve read a number of works that involve young characters having experiences or making choices
that create or define their identities. Choose one of these characters and discuss what is at stake in the
choice she or he makes, or in the experience he or she describes, and explain how this moment creates an
identity for this character that is “American” (as you might define it based on terms and concepts that
we’ve discussed, or as the author might define it). Obvious characters to consider (but not exclusive):
Huck Finn, Sylvia, Daisy Miller, W. E. B. Du Bois, Zitkala Sa, Henry Adams.
5. According to Washington and Du Bois, what are the particular contributions of African Americans to
American culture and society? How does the language and imagery each author uses (hands, gifts, etc.)
characterize these contributions? Write a paper that analyzes specific language from both texts, and uses
that analysis to support an argument regarding which author’s version of the African American
“contribution” is more convincing or important.
6. How are we to read the ending of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ? Does it ruin the serious critique
of racism and slavery in the novel? Choose one of the selections in the Critical Controversy section on
Huckleberry Finn and summarize its author’s position on the ending. Then, take the opposite position and
make your case for how to read the ending and its implications for the portrayal of race and racism in the
7. Frank Norris described the realism practiced by writers such as James, Howells, and Wharton as
“dramas of the reception-room, tragedies of an afternoon call, crises involving cups of tea” (C 911).
Compare Norris’s “Fantasie Printanière” to Howells’s “Editha,” Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” or
Wharton’s “Roman Fever.” Which form of realism offers a more “realistic” portrait of peoples’ lives? Is
Norris’s naturalism less realistic because of its connections with Romance? Do Howells or Wharton only
represent “the surface of things” (C 914)? Or, do the stories you have chosen have more in common than
Norris would admit?
Tips and grading criteria
Make your introduction complete, but brief. Don’t assume the reader knows the context for
your topic, but also don’t waste time introducing your author, recounting the biography, or the
history of the time period. Make sure you state your thesis clearly and precisely somewhere in
Your THESIS is the most important part of your paper. If the topic is phrased as a question,
don’t just answer the questions. The questions are there to help you arrive at a thesis. Also, if the
topic is designed to be a compare/contrast analysis, make sure that you have a main point that the
comparison supports. That is, just comparing one character or figure to another and pointing out
the similarities and differences won’t cut it.
Give your paper an interesting and descriptive title —“It’s Not About Me: Impersonal Poetry in
The Waste Land ” (ok, maybe not that dorky, but you get the idea). “Topic 3” is a very bad title
for a paper. Your title should interest your reader, and indicate what the topic is.
Cite the Norton Anthology parenthetically by page number: for example, “it was because I was
playing double” (246). ( Periods and commas go inside quotation marks; end punctuation comes
after the parenthetical citation .) You do not need to use any other sources, but if you do be sure
to cite and document those sources accurately and fully. If you’re writing about a poem that
appears on one page, cite the page number when you introduce the first quotation, and that will
do. If you want to quote from the texts on the handout, do so—no citation is needed, just make
sure to introduce the quote (see below) and to quote it accurately.
Use signal phrases and author’s name to introduce quotations: Jewett describes these new
feelings in Sylvia as a “great wave of human interest” (526). The first time you mention an
author, use the full name (Sarah Orne Jewett), spelled correctly, of course, then after that just use
the last name.
Your paper should be free of typos, grammatical errors, and formatting glitches; in other words,
proofread it carefully. Your paper should be coherently organized ; that is, it should have a
beginning, middle, and end . Watch out for excessively long paragraphs (more than a page), but
make sure that your paragraphs are also well developed. Along with good ideas, textual
evidence, and correctness, your paper should be well written —avoid vague terms, awkward
phrasing, and repetitive sentences. You can use the first person (“I”) and contractions (don’t,
can’t), but avoid overly colloquial phrasing (e.g.: and Huck was all like, “I was playing double.”
[ha ha, you get the point]).
Some helpful hints:
–involve me in the writing process
–write about what interests you, not what you think will be easy