Other Lesson Plans
Chapters 36 and 37
biling: slang complaining
bullyrag: to abuse, to threaten
counterpin: counterpane, bedspread
knocked the cat galley-west: slang out of kilter, cockeyed
1. Describe what Tom is referring to when he says, “It ain’t right, and it ain’t moral.” Does Huck apply the same level of moral examination to the way something is accomplished? Which approach seems to be more practical and to show more humanity?
Tom thinks it’s not right that they will use picks to dig out the tunnel instead of using caseknives. He agrees to use picks so long as they still “let on” or pretend that they are only using caseknives. Meanwhile, Huck admits that he doesn’t care about the “morality” of the way things are done—all he cares is that the thing is accomplished. In this case, a pick is the best and fastest tool, so Huck plans to use one. Huck’s approach is more practical and more humane because it shows his first priority is freeing Jim from being detained as a prisoner. Meanwhile, Tom treats Jim as if he is a pawn in a game and not a person in chains.
2. What is hypocritical about the way that Uncle Silas and Aunt Sally treat Jim?
They claim to be concerned with his well-being and come to pray with him, but at the same time, they are holding him prisoner until they get paid for turning him in.
3. After Tom has told Jim every detail of his overly complicated plan, what is Jim’s reaction? How does it echo Huck’s?
Jim realizes the plan is not sensible, but he agrees to it, as Huck says, because he “said we was white folks and knowed better than him.” Like Huck, Jim seems to realize that there is no arguing with Tom. Both of them understand that Tom’s imaginative plans are impractical, but they don’t feel have the confidence (in...
(The entire section is 674 words.)
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