Kakos' 6th Hour

Reactions and comments from my sixth hour Honors American Literature class.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Logan's Post: A Little R & J

Hey Ms. Kakos, Logan here. Just emailing you what our group wants posted as a blog prompt for the chapter 17-18 activity.

At the end of Chapter 18, Buck describes a particular family feud. The drama that follows bears a striking resemblance to the story of Romeo and Juliet.

"Two households, both alike in dignity...From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.From forth the fatal loins of these two foesA pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;Whole misadventured piteous overthrowsDo with their death bury their parents' strife..."
-Prologue to Romeo and Juliet

"... a feud is this way. A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man's brother kills him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in - and by-and-by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud..."
-Buck (page 119)

What similarities or differences do you see between Romeo and Juliet and the family feud in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

What was Twain's purpose, if any, for using such a similar plot? Or what was his purpose for changing what he didn't keep the same?

6 Comments:

Blogger brianc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:51 PM  
Blogger brianc said...

I believe that the similarities between the two texts are subtle yet key. I believe that the main difference is how the marriage between the two families didn't patch up the differences, but only made things far worse. This may show how in reality, people do not forgive as easily as one may think, even though it is ideal. Twain is trying to show how life would probably be if this situation arose, and is giving us a more realistic approach to everything. His purpose in this was to show us that life isn't always want we want it to be, and is often a messed up, confusing wreck.

8:55 PM  
Blogger nicci c said...

Between the two novels is the common likeness of a family fued destroying everybody in it. Their fury with one another clouds their minds and stops them from realizing what they have done not only to their enemies but to themselves as well; thus their death is caused by their own faults. If Twain was trying to make a connection between the two then he might have done it with the intention of showing what this type of quarrel leads to; which is the loss of several over a single death or a simple rival. The parts that he left out could then simply be what he found as un-important to the theme of his book.

9:25 PM  
Blogger christineT said...

The similarity between the two shows that marriage between two feuding families can lead to quarrel and disaster. I think Twain is using this as a metaphor for racism in this era. It was frowned upon when people of different color skins were together, and Twain displays this through the feud.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Alexaaaaa said...

One of the things that caught my attention about these two is that in Huckleberry Finn, the Grangerfords insisted that the Shepherdsons were incredibly courageous, while in Romeo and Juliet, each side made the other out to be worth less than dirt. Twain probably did this to show how southern whites justified their enslavement of blacks. The Grangerfords disagreed with the Shepherdsons violently, but they were still white, and so had to have good qualities about them somewhere, because, according to them, blacks had no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

1:20 PM  
Blogger A_Nielsen said...

There are so many similarities and differences in Romeo and Juliet and Huckleberry Finn such as the these two quotes. The passage from Romeo and Juliet and Huck Finn describe how violence (hate, racism) is basically hereditary or a snowball effect. Another point these two quotes bring up is that the Capulets and the Montagues hated each other because of a name and feud, same with the family feud in Huck Finn, and I think this relates to Huck Finn in another way. During the time period Huck was living in racism was an everyday topic and Romeo and Juliet can relate to this hate because the two feuding families hated each other for an ancient feud and a name while the people like Jim was a subject of racism or hate because of his skin color. Overall, these reasons were considered reasons but in reality they were excuses and these excuses were present in both these novels(play).

8:17 PM  

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