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The Adventures of Huck Finn
SUBJECTS — U.S./1812-1860, Missouri & Diversity; Literature/U.S;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Breaking Out; Running Away;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness and Caring.
1993 Version: Age 10+; Rated PG for some mild violence and language; 1993; 108 minutes; Color.
This film recounts a portion of Mark Twain's classic story of an errant boy and his adventures on the pre-Civil War Mississippi River. It shows a young boy becoming his own individual and rejecting slavery, an institution he was brought up to revere. The story is also a classic Hero's Journey of self-discovery and growth.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to The Adventures of Huck Finn helps teachers introduce the life on the Mississippi River in the days before the Civil War as well as the events and thought process which caused Huck to break ranks with his friends and neighbors to help his friend escape to freedom. The Guide contains a worksheet for students to use as they watch the film. An entire section of the Guide is devoted to using the story to teach students about the Hero's Journey.
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The Adventures of Huck Finn tells part of the story of an American classic.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to develop lesson plans and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for homeschooling, we have set out below the prompts and suggested responses for the Hero's Journey Worksheet provided for the Learning Guide to The Adventures of Huck Finn.
III. Identify the archetypes of the Hero's Journey that appear in the movie and, for each, describe the function it performs in telling the film's story.
The following are the archetypes associated with the story of a quest.
1. The Hero:
Suggested Response: Huck Finn is the hero of this story.
2. The Mentor: Suggested Response: If Huck has a mentor, it's Jim.
3. Threshold Guardians: Suggested Response: Huck's father, the widow Douglas and Miss Watson.
4. The Herald: Suggested Response: Jim serves this role, telling Huck to leave.
5. Shapeshifter: Suggested Response: The Duke and the Dauphin are shapeshifters, or at least, they try to be. However, they are not shapeshifters to Huck. He knew they were villains shortly after they shipped out on the raft. There are no real shapeshifters in this story.
6. The Shadow: Suggested Response: Huck's shadow is the desire for conformity and the belief in the wrongheaded ideas of his community. This almost leads him to turn Jim in.
7. The Trickster: Suggested Response: Huck himself is the Trickster. He makes everyone think he's been murdered.
The Learning Guide to the film The Adventures of Huck Finn contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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