Satire: The Exposure of Southern Life Essay

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Mark Twain wrote the renowned nineteenth century novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a humorist, with intentions solely entertain the reader. Although the author warns at the start of the book, “persons attempting to find a moral in this narrative will be banished”, he submerses the reader into Southern society to evaluate their values (Notice). Satirists seek to find motives behind people’s actions and by dramatizing the contrast between appearance and reality; they strive to aware readers of the unpleasant truths within society. With both satire and irony, Twain exposes the selfish qualities of Southern society and their unreligious morals through his realist perspective. Twain is able to expose the selfishness in Southern society during the nineteenth century using several examples of satire and irony.

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Through this ironic scheme, Twain portrays Tom’s selfishness and that of Southern society that concludes the novel. Throughout this novel, the author embeds many ironic and sometimes upsetting instances in his writing to satirize and expose his view on Southern society values. As the satirical analysis of religion unfolds in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain exploits the morals of Southern society. Various events in the book lead the reader to believe that in the nineteenth century; religion was more of a social norm. Though strictly enforced, the morals woven throughout the Bible were ignored by those who practiced them.

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Twain’s mockery of religion is a repetitive theme throughout the novel and demonstrates how Southern society’s morals contrast with those that they practice in church. Satire is a style of writing that blends criticism with humor and wit. Mark Twain works to provide humor as well as expose the flaws in human nature, specifically in Southern society. The reader travels with Huck on his journey as he matures and analyzes immoral tendencies in man, such as self-centeredness and religious hypocrisy. With The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the reader explores Twain’s realist view on society through satire and irony and allows them to scrutinize Southern life in the 1800’s.

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