Satire In Huck Finn
Uploaded by cmp_17 on Feb 15, 2002
Mark Twain uses his novel the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to exaggerate and make fun of the many problems facing American society. Twain uses many of the characters in his novel to express satire. Some of the major views of society that Twain attacks are religion, slavery, and human nature itself.
Religion is one of the main victims of Twain's satire. The satire is visible when the Widow Douglas tells Huck about Moses. It is obvious that Huck does not care to know when Huck states, "Here she was a-bothering about moses, which was no kin to her, and no use to anybody, being gone, you see..." Later in the novel Huck realizes that prayer has never done anything good for him and he can not see that it has done anything for many others either. Through Huck, Twain is able to attack the blind faith that civilized society places towards religion.
The King and the Duke are perfect people for Twain to express his satire. They are frauds who make their money by ripping people off. Twain goes on to satirize human nature through the town's reaction to the Royal Nonesuch with the King and the Duke. Instead of running the frauds out of town as soon as they realized they were being robbed, the towns people let them stay and encouraged others to go see the show as well so that they would not be the only ones taken in by fraud. At this point Twain exaggerates the distance people will go so that they will not be the only ones fooled. However, when the King and Duke are finally caught they pay for their sins by being tarred and feathered. Even though Huck knew the King and Duke were frauds, he still felt sympathy for them, "It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another." Through the actions taken by the towns people, Twain shows that criminals and crooks are not the only ones that can be cruel. The towns people who consider themselves to be civilized and oppose to any type of cruelty, commit a cruel act themselves. Twain demonstrates how a society that sees themselves as civilized can display such irresponsible behavior. Society's cruelty is visible again when the man with Packard says "He'll be drownded, and won't have nobody to blame for it but his own self. I reckon...