001-Of Moral Growth

001-Of Moral Growth - Of Moral Growth A Critical...

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Of Moral Growth A Critical Examination of Character Development in Emma, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and My Name is Asher Lev All human beings advance through stages of growth during their lives. Physical growth is the most noticeable; babies are born tiny and helpless and grow rather rapidly into toddlers, adolescents, and adults. Intellectual growth, easily measured, begins almost immediately and continues throughout life as people gain knowledge through circumstances and educational systems. While everyone grows physically and intellectually, some will also grow morally. When one becomes fully aware of the people and world around them, standards of right and wrong are developed that begin to affect the ways in which one thinks, feels, and acts. Literary works centered around a single protagonist often bring us through one or more of these stages of growth. Literary elements are used by authors to bring about the growth of the protagonist. Huckleberry Finn, Emma Woodhouse, and Asher Lev, the central characters in three separate novels, experience moral growth. While the circumstances that encompass their growth are vastly different, the authors of the novels use similar elements to bring them to self-awareness. Through the elements of conflict, crisis, and theme we will see how Huck, Emma, and Asher develop morally. Each character develops moral strength that impacts their life and the lives of others. Summary of Protagonists' Growth Huck, the central character in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, longs to escape the confines of the civilized world. A poor boy with no education, no mother, and a drunkard father, Huck is taken in by the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson. Huck chafes against their attempts to civilize him. His father, absent from the scene in the beginning, returns to town with the intentions of getting Huck back. He kidnaps Huck one day and takes him to an abandoned cabin along the banks of the Mississippi River. There he keeps him imprisoned and often beats him. Tiring of life with his father, he escapes when Pap is away by staging his own death. It is during his escape that he encounters Jim, the escaped slave of Miss Watson. Despite his uncertainties about helping an escaped slave, Huck and Jim take to the river on a raft. During their journey they have many adventures in which they witness the cruelty and hypocrisy of people. Along the way Huck and Jim meet up with two con men, the Duke and the Dauphin. Huck willingly plays along in the schemes invented by the two men in order to bilk money from the people in the towns they stop at. It is not until they plan to swindle three young girls out of their inheritance does Huck begin to see the injustice of it. Plans go awry when Huck confesses the truth to the oldest of the girls; Huck and the con men make their escape. Upon reaching the next town, the Duke sneaks away to turn Jim in as a runaway slave for the reward money. It is at this point in the story in
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This note was uploaded on 08/29/2011 for the course EDU 101-404 taught by Professor Ide during the Spring '11 term at DeVry Phoenix.

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001-Of Moral Growth - Of Moral Growth A Critical...

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