Social Satire in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay


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Satire is a genre of literature in which things such as vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are ridiculed with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually comedic, it is usually used for constructive criticism. In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, satire is used to point out the faults and stupidity of America and its people during the 1840s and to ridicule them in a comedic way. `In this story, Twain uses many examples to express social satire. One of these examples is religious. Religion is a big topic in Huckleberry Finn and Twain does a good job using satire to make the story funnier and also to criticize religious following during the 1840s. Two examples of religious satire in this story are the Grangerfords and Huck. The Grangerfords may seem like a pleasant and respectable family, who love God and attend church, but in actuality, live in a world of violence.


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All in all, for religion, Twain tries to teach the moral of practicing what you preach. Don’t just do it, do it with heart. Religion isn’t the only form of social satire that Twain uses in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He also uses lying as a form of satire. Lying plays a big part in the story and is used throughout the whole book. The main character, Huckleberry Finn, is the main culprit for this topic. Huck lies throughout the whole book and rarely tells the truth. He is a mastermind when it comes to lying, doing it very well without getting caught. He is constantly creating stories to get out of sticky situations and even creating fake identities to keep himself from getting caught after running away.


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In the book, Twain focuses on the cruelty of slavery and how it ridiculous it was and is. An example that Twain uses to express the ridiculousness of slavery is when Jim is on the Phelps farm. After being unshackled and taken out of his room to do a job, Jim is brought back to his room and left unchained. Here he has a chance to escape but doesn’t. Social satire is used many times to reflect the morals of certain groups and time periods, while making fun its beliefs and criticizing their flaws. The social satire used in Huck Finn was used to ridicule the flaws of the 1840s and also the flaws, such as racism, that were still strong during the 1880s, when the book was published. Throughout the story, Twain does a good job of ridiculing the flaws of those times in a funny, comedic way, and also . reflecting the morals that should be followed.


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