Satire In Huck Finn Analysis

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: An Attempt to Edify Society

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain is a classic that has stood through the ages. The story is about a boy named Huckleberry Finn, otherwise known as Huck, who runs away from home and travels down the Mississippi river on a raft. Huck meets many people along the way, including a runaway slave named Jim, who becomes his companion. Throughout this novel, humor is a tool Mark Twain uses. He uses ridiculous and hypocritical situations to create this satire. Mark Twain exposes the flaws in his society by satirizing slavery, religion, and education. At the beginning of the book Huckleberry Finn is staying with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson because his father
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Like the Grangerfords, there are people in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that classify themselves as Christians, yet hypocritically own slaves as property. At the Widow Douglas’ house, Huck goes on to explain that the slaves are called into the house to pray. “By and by they fetched the niggers in and had prayers, and then everybody was off to bed.” (3) Silas Phelps, Tom’s uncle who is a preacher owns slaves and keeps Jim in a shed so he doesn’t escape. To the townspeople Silas is a very good preacher. “But it warn’t surprising; because he warn’t only just a farmer, he was a preacher... and never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too.” (229) At one point, Silas goes into the shed where he is keeping Jim and prays with him. “Jim told him Uncle Silas come in every day or two to pray with him, and Aunt Sally come into see if he was comfortable and had plenty to eat...” (250) The Widow brings the slaves in for prayers, and Silas prays with Jim, but what’s the value of it? It seems absurd that these Christians would be loving enough to pray with them, yet own them and treat them like property. As the story progresses, Huck reaches a point where he struggles with what he’s going to do about Jim, but in the end he decides not to turn Jim in. “All right, then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it [the letter] up... I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again; and if I could think …show more content…
Huck is a thirteen year old boy who is academically uneducated. “I had been to school most all the time and could spell and read and write just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don’t reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I don’t take no stock in mathematics, anyway.” (16) But ironically Mark Twain chooses such a character to be the narrator and main character of his novel. As seen at the end of the book, Tom and Huck reunite and Tom hatches a plan to help Jim escape from the shed. Tom says that their plan needs to be like the ones in the books. “Why, hain’t you ever read any books at all?—Baron Trenck, nor Casanova, nor Benvenuto Chelleeny, nor Henri IV., nor none of them heroes? Who ever heard of getting a prisoner loose in such an old-maidy way as that?“ (242) Tom is childish and still wants to live in his fantasy world; this makes his plans become extremely impractical. Even though both Huck and Jim think his plan is ridiculous, they go along with it anyway. Huck is apprehensive about society, but because of his journey down river away from civilization, Huck grows to question what he’s been taught. Huck learns from real world experiences, and his conclusions are unaffected by society; this helps him see the flaws in civilization. In contrast, Tom reads books that are neither applicable nor useful in the

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