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The American Myth. Am I Not a Man and a Brother? , Broadside Collection, Library of Congress, 1837. Equality for Me but Not for Thee. The Declaration of Independence.

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the american myth

The American Myth

Am I Not a Man and a Brother?, Broadside Collection, Library of Congress, 1837

Equality for Me but Not for Thee

the declaration of independence
The Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  • Themes: How does this passage relate to the events of the play?
  • Speaker: Who speaks this passage in the play? Why is the speaker important?
frederick douglass
Frederick Douglass

It is true that we are no longer slaves, but it is equally true that we are not yet quite free. We have been turned out of the house of bondage, but we have not yet been fully admitted into the glorious temple of American Liberty.

~Frederick Douglass (1869)

  • How is this statement still true today?
  • Where else can we find examples of inequality?
huck and jim
Huck and Jim
  • Equality: How are Huck and Jim equals in the story? How are they unequal to each other?
  • Perspective: Who is telling this story? How does this affect the action in the play?
  • Youth: Why is it important that Huck is a child?
  • Friendship: How does Huck’s and Jim’s relationship evolve during the story?
hucks private vs public dilemma
Hucks’ Private vs. Public Dilemma
  • Huck’s inner voice: What does it tell him?
  • How does Huck battle with his conscience?
  • Huck in society: How/Why does Huck struggle to decide what to do about Jim?
  • Huck’s loyalty to Jim: Is it better to obey the law or your own conscience?
  • Huck’s actions toward Jim: What do they reveal?
wrap up
Wrap-Up
  • Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.

~Thomas Jefferson

  • Questions? Thoughts?