Huckleberry Finn Satire

1413 Words 6 Pages
The Evils of Society

Oxford 's online dictionary defines satire as "The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people 's stupidity or vices." (Oxford 's Dictionary). The device is widely used throughout literature to either condemn or praise aspects of a certain society. Mark Twain, the acclaimed author of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is one of the most notable satirical writers. Throughout the work, he twines humor, exaggeration, and irony together to create a satirical novel that successfully challenges and mocks certain aspects of the American society wherein Huck lives. In turn, these aspects in which he criticizes strongly correlate to the messages and themes found throughout the adventures that
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The Romantic Movement in literature was the focus on human emotion and imagination rather than realism. Twain was an ardent supporter of realism and therefore pokes fun at romanticism throughout Huck Finn; one such example being the sinking ferryboat. Twain criticizes the movement by naming the sinking boat the "Walter Scott;" Scott being one of the most notable romantic writers during the time period for his historical works compiled into the Waverly Novels. Another stab at romanticism can be seen through the duke 's performance of Hamlet 's soliloquy. Twain uses extreme exaggeration to satirize the performance as the duke wrongly recites the famous romantic script. "With one leg shoved forwards, and his arms stretched away up, and his head tilted back, looking up at the sky; and then he begins to rip and rave and grit his teeth; and after that all through his speech, he howled, and spread around, and swelled up his chest" (Twain 147). Shakespeare was and is still remembered today as one of the greatest romantic writers, and through this scene, Twain is able to poke fun at him by exploiting the exaggeration within his …show more content…
Whether through the use of smaller or broader approaches, Twain is able to successfully accomplish using the device to poke fun at American society. In turn, these approaches helped to highlight many of the prominent underlying themes such as morality vs. legality, the maturation process, loyalty, hypocrisy, and racism. Thus, the device is able to not only positively add humor to the story but also bring the morals and themes to the surface of the work. Subsequently, throughout the novel,

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