Examples Of Satire In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

Great Essays
Appropriate Satire of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a satirical novel full of colorful and sometimes controversial characters. These characters are used to demonstrate some of the superlative and unfavorable parts of the society and time period in which these characters live. Mark Twain satirically criticizes the way the characters act based on the social standards and issues of the early 1800’s. The social norm was much inspired by romanticism, which was a literary movement that compelled people to be emotionally guided. Because people were emotionally compelled, their reasoning wasn’t rational. Therefore, Mark Twain felt it was appropriate to use a satirical approach to criticize the serious subject …show more content…
Twain’s attitude towards the era of Romanticism is bitter, so that is why he chooses to sardonically critique the subject in the book. Twain’s strongest illustration of romanticism is the situation where Tom and the gang doing all of their crimes through “the books”. The books that Tom talks about are based on romanticism and they emphasize ridiculous and dangerous situations. One of the boys in the gang asks Tom, “Ransomed? What’s that?” (19). Tom goes on to refer to the books many times and says, “That’s what they do. I’ve seen it in books…Don’t you reckon that the people that made the books knows what’s the correct thing to do?’ (19). Tom Sawyer is heavily persuaded by the romantic novels and obviously the books lead him to do hateful actions. Twain reveals the damage of romanticism through the actions of his character, Tom. Another depiction satirizing romanticism was the sinking of the boat, Walter Scott. Walter Scott was a romanticism novelist. Huck is curious about the boat and approaches the guard of the sunken steamboat and finds out, “Why there ain’t but one…the Walter Scott” (84). The Walter Scott sinks because Twain wants the idea of romanticism to sink. Thus, Twain symbolically kills romanticism by sinking the boat, The Walter …show more content…
The people acted like their religious beliefs were essential to them. Mark Twain comments on the irony of the men attending church while carrying a gun on them. Twain does so by creating the scene of his persona, Huck, spending Sunday with the Grangerfords. Huck accompanies the Grangerfords to church, and he notes “the men took their guns along and kept them between their knees” (120). The Grangerfords are in a family feud with the Shepherdsons, and it’s ironic that they hold guns to protect themselves from another family, but they say they are compassionate Christians. Religious hypocrisy is also mentioned when Miss Watson is teaching Huck about Heaven and Hell. Huck says, “she told me all about the bad place,” and said “she was going to live so as to go to the good place” (13). Also, Miss Watson tells Huck to “pray everyday, and whatever [he] asked for, he would get it” (21). It is ironic that Miss Watson emphasizes religion and she portrays herself as a religious woman when she owns a slave. Because the American people only live by the rules of religion they want and ignore the other rules that they believe don’t apply, Twain satirizes the corruption of religious values to help the people to not be duplicitous when it comes to

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Hamlet Essay Characters who parallel, yet contrast one another are said to act as foils. Ophelia and Laertes act as foils for Hamlet, as they develop the theme: The murder of a loved one corrupts a person in a way that it triggers acts of irrational behaviour. In the play Hamlet, we are able to see the actions that Ophelia and Laertes take once they experience a murder similar to Hamlet 's. Ophelia and Hamlet experience the same feelings of grief and despair towards their fathers. After the death of Polonius, Ophelia becomes robbed of her sanity.…

    • 1101 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He mentions some people who were religious hypocrites, like the Grangerfords. Huckleberry stayed with the Grangerfords and they had been in a very long family feud with the Shepherdsons. "Next Sunday we all went to church...The men took their guns along" (Twain 120). The Grangerfords did not leave the house without guns because they needed to defend themselves or kill a Shepherdson if they ran into a member of the Shepherdson family. They even brought their guns to church, where they listened to a preaching about brotherly love, because they always needed to be ready to continue the feud, regardless that it was the Sabbath.…

    • 1142 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He tries to send the message that it is dangerous to romanticize people, objects, and situations. In this case, his figure of satire is Tom Sawyer, Huck’s friend. Tom mentions at one point makes a comment about ransoms and how “that’s what they do. I’ve seen it in books (Twain 7).” It is known from Tom that he tends to read romantic novels, and to base of your knowledge off of such a thing can be quite risky depending on the situation. Tom repeatedly brings up his romance fictional novels that he follows dearly by stating, “Why blame it all, we’ve got to do it.…

    • 1007 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The enemy used different tactics in Westley to deceive his dad and the entire congregation during the church revival. Another passage quoted, “I wondered what God thought about Westley, who certainly hadn’t seen Jesus either, but who was now sitting proudly on the platform, swinging his knickeredbockered legs….. surrounded by the deacons and the old women on their knees praying (346). Westley is a bold and daring to actually fool adults into thinking that he loved Jesus. During this revival many people can say that Jesus is love and wrath too. Jesus shouldn’t be taken for granted, but he will grab hold of Westley sooner or later if he repents of his…

    • 777 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    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.…

    • 1465 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Wilde’s The Picture Of Dorian Gray, the title character is forced to face a life full of cruelty and regret. As the novel progresses, Dorian goes from fearing death to embracing it. Dorian kills, watches the people he cares for die, and eventually comes face to face with is own death. All of these changes in Dorian’s life are due to his deteriorating soul and corrupt morals. In the Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde accompanies Dorian with death to advocate the importance of selflessness.…

    • 1217 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Aunt Chloe looks at the slave traders and owners, and questions how they could take a mother from her child, or a husband from his wife. She asks “…and all the while does they feel one bit…” (111). Aunt Chloe, who is a sentimental and religious character, portrays Stowe’s dislike of the institution of slavery. Stowe’s dislike of slavery is portrayed through the eye of religion because in the 1850s, women could not comment on political matters and be taken seriously. However, if the issue is portrayed through a religious scope, Stowe’s point is more likely to be received by the male community.…

    • 1438 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    One of Ruth’s other sons, Billy, got called up by the deacon to say some bible verses. He said, “Any verse?..Jesus wept”(McBride 54). Later, James described his mom’s reaction. He said, “When we got home, mommy beat Billy’s butt.” His mother beats him because religion is a priority and that is something that she wants her children to believe in god when they are older. This connects to the overall theme because religion is Ruth’s identity and she felt insulted when her son didn’t know a bible verse.…

    • 767 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His most direct attack was aimed at Sir Walter Scott, the Romantic writer. Huck strands a gang on a wrecked steamboat, and finds a captain to go out and save them from the wreck. "'What wreck?' 'Why, there ain't but one.' 'What, you don't mean the Walter Scott?…

    • 491 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Both families are said to be respectful and religious, yet their main purpose in life is to eliminate each other’s faces from existence. The Grangerford family is extremely pleasant and have outstanding levels of hospitality towards Huck, but would aim their guns at the face of any Shepardson. On an occasion Huck tagged along on their trip to church, “Next Sunday we all went to church, about three miles, everybody a-horse back. The men took their guns along, so did Buck and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall”(Twain 109), although the families seem to be doing a good thing by attending church, they also take their guns with them. Church is supposed to be a place of peace and religion are stressed that excessively, yet they are taking firearms that could potentially kill a man.…

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays