Huck Finn Song Lyric Analysis Project. Child Abuse : Then and Now . Objectives. SWBAT… Identify the three eras associated with child protection. Describe the major events that took place in each era of child protection. Interpret/ paraphrase the meaning of the passage/s from the novel.
According to Americanbar.org, “The history of child protection in America is divisible into three eras. The first era extends from colonial times to 1875 and may be referred to as the era before organized child protection. The second era spans 1875 to1962 and witnessed the creation and growth of organized child protection through nongovernmental child protection societies. The year 1962 marks the beginning of the third or modern era: the era of government-sponsored child protective services.
Bergh and Gerry decided to create a nongovernmental charitable society devoted to child protection, and thus was born the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC), the world's first entity devoted entirely to child protection.
The 1962 publication of the blockbuster article The Battered Child Syndrome by pediatrician Henry Kempe and his colleagues. Kempe played a leading role in bringing child abuse to national attention during the 1960s and 1970s.
By the late 1970s, government-sponsored child protective services spanned the nation, settling into urban and rural areas alike.
The 1960s witnessed an explosion of interest in child abuse, and physicians played a key role in this awakening.
Novel Connection: In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, readers mostly see physical abuse from Pap, although there is evidence of verbal as well. Both forms of abuse cause emotional damage in Huck as evidenced by his low self esteem and poor perception of himself. Arguably the most damaging form of abuse Huck experiences is neglect.
“ ‘Yes, he’s got a father, but you can’t never find him these days. He used to lay drunk with the hogs in the tanyard, but he hain’t been seen in these parts for more than a year or two’ ” (8).
This is an example of neglect as a form of child abuse. Pap is described as an incapable father who abandons Huck, leaving him to fend for himself at a very young age.
“But by and by Pap got too handy with his hick’ry, and I couldn’t stand it. I was all over with welts. He got to going away so much, too, and locking me in. Once he locked me in and was gone three days. It was dreadful lonesome. I judged he had got drowned and I wasn’t ever going to get out anymore. I was scared” (8).
This passage from the novel is an example of both neglect and physical abuse. It is clear that Pap not only abuses Huck, but also abuses his authority as a father by ruling Huck with fear.
More Physical Abuse
“ ‘He catched me a couple of times and thrashed me, but I went to school just the same, and dodged him or outrun him most the time’” (23).
That young boy without a name anywhere I'd know his face.In this city the kid's my favourI've seen him. I've seen him, I see him every day.Seen him run outside looking for a place to hide from his father,the kid half naked and said to myself "Oh, what's the matter here?"I'm tired of the excuses everbody uses, he's their kid I stay out of it,but who gave you the right to do this?We live on Morgan Street;just ten feet between and his mother, I never see her,but her screams and cussing, I hear them every day.Threats like: "If you don't mind I will beat on your behind,""Slap you, slap you silly."made me say, "Oh, what's the matter here?"
I'm tired of the excuses everybody uses, he's your kid, do as you see fit,but get this through that I don't approve of what you did to your own flesh and blood.I have heard the excuses everybody uses, he's your kid, do as you see fit,but get this through that I don't approve of what you did to your own flesh and blood."If you don't sit in your chair straightI'll take this belt from around my waist and don't you think that I won't use it!"Answer me and take your time,what could be the awful crime he could do at soyoung an age?If I'm the only witness to your madness offer me some words to balance out what I see and what I hear.All these cold and rude things that you do I suppose you do BECAUSE he belongs to youand instead of love, and the feel of warmth you've given him these cuts and sores that don't heal with time or with age....and I want to say now, I want to say "What's the Matter here?"But I don't dare say "What’s the Matter, here?"But I don't dare say...