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Give three examples of Man vs. Society in chapters 8-11 of The Adventures of...

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monkygoncrazy | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 20, 2007 at 2:40 PM via web

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Give three examples of Man vs. Society in chapters 8-11 of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 20, 2007 at 3:08 PM (Answer #1)

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In chapters 8 and 9, Huck feels that being on the island, separated from society, has removed him from the conflict of dealing with the demands of others: “I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else but here.” Huck wants to escape the ridiculous fighting and prejudices and expectations society imposes.

However, he realizes that this oasis is unrealistic and that he must help Jim escape, even if people will call him a "low down abolitionist."

Things get stickier for Huck when he learns that people back home, first thinking Pap had killed Huck, now believe that Jim is the murderer. Huck must once again come into conflict with society by continuing to protect his friend. (chapters 9-11)

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cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted August 21, 2007 at 2:57 AM (Answer #2)

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Just to add a little to the previous answer, the chapters do provide some images that demonstrate the man vs. society conflict as well.  

1.  When Huck is on the island, he watches the steamboat come by with everyone he knows on it looking for him.  This scene presents a visual representation of Huck vs. society - everyone is searching for him, but he chooses to watch from his hiding place on the island.

2.  Jim's recounting of his escape also provides an image of the man vs. society conflict.  It shows a human side of a slave - a slave struggling for his freedom vs. those who would call him an animal and keep him in captivity.

3.  Jim and Huck's flight at the end of chapter 11 is another example.  Both are going against society by fleeing and by being with the other. 

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