Criticisms Of American Society In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a classic novel that is filled with criticisms of American Society. Throughout Huck and Jim 's travels, Twain uses his satirical writing style to mock many of the social institutions of that time. The author cleverly ridicules institutions through the hypocrisy of characters, actions, and humorous dialogue. Mark Twain 's wit and political agenda is clearly shown throughout the book. The specific institutions that are being targeted in the novel include the education system, religion, and family. Mark Twain uses his criticisms of these social institutions to contribute to the idea of the immorality of racism, the overall theme of the novel. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn contains numerous …show more content…
"And looky here- you drop that school, you hear? . . . Your mother couldn 't read, and she couldn 't write, nuther, before she died. None of your family could before they died. I can 't; and here you 're a-swelling yourself up like this, I ain 't the man to stand it- you hear?" (Twain 30). Yet in this passage, Huck 's abusive father Pap is yelling at him for getting an education. Pap literally admits that his whole family and himself couldn 't read as if it was something to be proud of, even though Pap is actually jealous of Huck. This ironic situation shows how Pap is the opposite of a good parent. Parents are supposed to love, care, and want the best for their children, not envy and scorn their children for pursuing something that would benefit their child in the future. Twain wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the late 1800s, a time when an educated person was praised, many children were lucky even to be able to go to school. No matter the color of your skin, an education was something desired by almost every parent in order to benefit their child. Twain is trying to add to the overall theme of the novel. He is trying to show that an African American was more of a father figure, kind, and caring to Huck than his white, abusive father ever was. "Jim won 't ever forgit you, Huck; you 's the bes ' fren ' Jim 's ever had; en you 's de only fren ' ole Jim 's got now" (Twain …show more content…
Twain seems to see religion, specifically Christianity as being manipulative, and exploitative. In this passage, Huck speaks out about his opinions on prayer and religion. " I went and told the widow about it, and she said the thing a body could get by praying for it was 'spiritual gifts '. This was too many for me, but she told me what she meant- I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself. This was including Miss Watson as I took it. I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time, but I couldn 't see no advantage about it- except for the other people; so at last I reckoned I wouldn 't worry about it any more, but just let it go" (Twain 21-22). In this humorous dialogue, Huck doesn 't understand the point of praying, and even when the Widow explains how Huck could benefit others, Huck still sees no benefit or importance. Mark Twain is saying that the institutions of religion use selfless acts such as praying as a way to exploit their followers. Religion proclaims to it 's worshipers that being devoted to churches and others, and avoiding anything to do with personal gain will make them better people. These institutions use this to manipulate their followers. For example, usually churches pass around baskets during Sunday masses, where families donate money to their church. Supposedly these

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