Religious Satire In Huck Finn

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Religious Satire in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Perhaps the most impactful work of American literature, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, expertly satirizes many aspects of 19th century American society. Twain ridicules topics ranging from racism to mob mentality, religion being one of the most prominent, as he focuses on its many facets. Emphasis is placed upon mocking the illogic and hypocrisy of Christianity, as well as the capricious nature of superstitious beliefs. All these subtopics culminate, into Twain’s effective satire upon religion as a whole, during the time period. Throughout the entire novel, the main character, Huckleberry Finn, is a young boy who amongst other things, serves to satirize many of the more fallacious
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Huck’s reactions to many of their teachings in religion perfectly highlight the ridiculousness but also misconceptions about the faith. For example, Huck believes that if he is to, “pray every day,” then, “whatever I asked for I would get it.” (11). Immediately, this pokes fun at the absurd idea that talking to God in your head or aloud, and asking for something, can yield actual results. Dismayed, Huck discovers that, “it warn’t so. I tried it. Once I got a fish line but no hooks. It warn’t good to me with no hooks” (11). Twain furthers it in showing, a boy, who in good faith asks for trivial, material, objects, when good Christians should be wishing for world peace or the end of poverty of course. Even though praying is not intended for asking for material belongings, there really is no difference in that and a thoughtful, selfless, wish, either way, Twain portrays it as a futile act. Another aspect in Huck’s religious education includes bible studies. Upon hearing stories about Moses, Huck becomes intrigued and eager to learn more, but after hearing he is dead, Huck, “didn’t care no more about him, …show more content…
As described previously, Huck is not a boy of religion, but in its stead he is very superstitious. Many of his superstitious beliefs emanate from his upbringing and also from, “Miss Watson’s nigger Jim,” who, “had a hairball as big as your fist, which he… used to do magic with. He said there was a spirit inside of it, and it knowed everything.” (21). Huck is entirely believing in superstitious decrees, even if they are as absurd as a magical hairball, which is Twain’s way of making a joke about superstitions. Another example, of Huck’s superstition is the incident that occurs on Jackson’s island with the snake skin. Huck found and killed a snake, then put it on Jim’s bed as a joke. When Jim comes back another snake came to the carcass, and then bit Jim’s heel. Jim proceeds to warn Huck, that touching a snakeskin is bad luck, which Huck wholeheartedly believes, “I made up my mind I wouldn 't ever take a-holt of a snake-skin again with my hands, now that I see what had come of it." (52). Huck is more than easy, to convince of the snake skins bad luck, and even afterwards blames unfortunate events on the lingering effects of him having touched the snake skin, when in actuality, the logical reason for Jim getting bit is that, snakes are attracted to other snakes venom, which was surely on the dead snake’s carcass. Through these examples of

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