Kings' Courier

Filed under A&E

Satire in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

Advertisement

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

      “Mark Twain’s The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn was banned for the first time just one month after its publication,” said Domenica Ruta, in an article in PEN American. Several people view Mark Twain’s book as racist so they are banning it from being read in schools. These people are overlooking the satire and humor and taking them as racial comments, but Twain is trying to use it to express the difference between his and society’s thoughts. Satire is the use of verbal irony to expose foolishness in the society. Satire is used throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and some of the examples he uses include praying with slaves, acting like African Americans aren’t people, and fighting in family feuds.

      The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes place with a slave named Jim. Huck and Jim both run away and coincidentally meet up on an island, and they leave the island on a raft down the Mississippi River. Jim is an African American who has to hide so he doesn’t get caught for being a runaway slave. However, the hiding failed, and he was taken captive and held as a prisoner at the end of the story. African Americans in the story were treated very poorly. Twain uses satire to express this and is criticizing society’s thought on African Americans. In chapter 36 Huck said, “Jim told him [Tom] Uncle Silas come in every day or two to pray with him, and Aunt Sally come in to see if he was comfortable and had plenty to easy, and both of them was kind as they could be” (Twain 221). The satire is shown by saying that even though they thought of slaves so poorly they still prayed with them. It is ironic that the good Christian people would pray with their slaves because holding a slave is a sin.  

      In Huck Finn, people don’t even view African Americans as people. People throughout the story view slaves as just a piece of property. In chapter 32 Huck made up a story to trick Tom’s aunt. He was telling her about how they blew a cylinder- head on the way home, which is used as an excuse to explain why they were late. Aunt Sally says, “Good gracious! anybody hurt?” Huck Finn replied, “No’m. Killed a nigger,” and Aunt Sally came back with “well, it’s lucky because sometimes people get hurt” (Twain 197). An African American just died and nobody cares, how can that be? Aren’t all men created equal? Twain uses this again to satirize society’s thought on African Americans and slaves. Society may look at African Americans as just slaves, but Twain shows he doesn’t feel this way by using this type of satire. This is how he presents a serious issue in a light hearted, funny way.

     In Huckleberry Finn, two families, the Shepherdsons and Grangerfords, have been holding onto a family feud for about 30 years, but why? Huck asked Buck, “What was the trouble about, Buck?-land?”  Buck replied, “I reckon maybe-I don’t know” (Twain 98). Buck then describes how one person from each family has died in the past year in the fighting that has no reason. Huck asked which family started the fighting, but Buck still has no answer. The two families go to the same church, but they bring their guns just in case action starts again. The families listen to a sermon about brotherly love, and they both agree it was a great message. How ironic is it that two families who want to kill each other for a reason unknown show up for church to listen to a message about brotherly love. Twain used this satire to criticize family feuds in general and to criticize religious hypocrites.

      The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was not just filled with great satire but was also filled with great humor. Satire can be used with humor to present society’s issues in a less cruel way. Along with that it had a lot of action taking place to keep the readers on the edge of their seats. Being able to pick up on and understand the satire throughout the book makes the book very interesting.  Overall, this funny book teaches a lot of valuable lessons from the use of satire.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • A&E

    Grim

  • Satire in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

    A&E

    “Brave New World”

  • Satire in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

    A&E

    “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

  • Satire in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

    A&E

    Lucifer

  • A&E

    Weird Al Concert Review Accordion To Me

  • Satire in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

    A&E

    Michael Vey: Hunt for Jade Dragon

  • Satire in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

    A&E

    Michael Vey: Battle of The Ampere

  • A&E

    Defeat

  • A&E

    My Sister’s Keeper

  • A&E

    Behold The Lamb

Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Satire in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”