Huckleberry Finn Seminar Questions

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7/25/2012
Socratic Seminar | Troy Willix|
Mark Twain’s satire was so severe toward society that the latter considered it outrageous, rough, coarse, immoral and inelegant. It was banned from libraries for years. This proves how deeply Huck Finn had reached its targets, namely corrupt society and institutions.

Mark Twain’s satire was so severe toward society that the latter considered it outrageous, rough, coarse, immoral and inelegant. It was banned from libraries for years. This proves how deeply Huck Finn had reached its targets, namely corrupt society and institutions.

| The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn|

| The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn|

Troy Willix
Mrs. Meredith K. Abramson
English III
July 25, 2012
Summer Assignment
1. If we consider twain a satirist, what do you think the objects of his satire are? What aspects does he target? What kinds of people? In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Mark Twain uses satire to mock many different aspects of the modern world. Throughout Huck’s trip from St. Petersburg down the Mississippi river, Huck encounters a variety of people and situations that are designed to mock the American people not just in that certain time period but in modern times also. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was written shortly after the Civil War, in which slavery was one of the key issues. Twain did not believe that slavery was right in anyway. Through the character of Jim and the major moral dilemma that followed Huck throughout the novel Twain wrote the book in the way so that it mocks slavery and makes a strong statement about the way people treated slaves. Miss Watson is revered as a good Christian woman, who had strong values, but even she owns a slave named Jim, who runs away after the account that Miss Watson might sell him to New Orleans. Twain uses satire to show how hypocritical a "good Christian woman" can be when it comes to owning slaves as property. In the end, Miss Watson feels guilty for trying to sell Jim and gives him his freedom in her will of course, no one knows this until the very end of the novel, after Tom and Hick tell Aunt Sally all of the crazy schemes that they went through to help keep Jim out of slavery when he was already free. We see satire again in the novel through the idea of family feuds. The Shepardsons and Grangerfords are a pair of feuding families, and no one can remember why they are even fighting. The young Buck Shepardson Grangerford respects the Shepardsons, making it known that they are certainly not cowards, but that he wants to kill them so bad, though he hardly knows why. This feud is said to model one particular feud during the same time period between two families, the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s. These two families had a huge bloody feud that lasted for many years and completely destroyed the two families. The reason why this connection can be made is that there are a great deal of similarities between the fictional feud and the real feud as two are pointed out in the previous sentences. The fictional feud is of course satirical, in that it takes the happenings of the real feud and makes them seem pointless and silly, commenting on the stupidity of human nature. Another example of satire that pokes at human nature is the Boggs and Sherburn incident. When Sherburn killed Boggs for continued harassment, the town felt the need to lynch Colonel Sherburn for his crimes. When Sherburn comes out with a gun and crazily speaks to the mob. He preaches to them about their nature and how they would not be able to stand against him if they were not a group of people. Because as individuals they were essentially cowards and his reason for saying that is because people are stronger in a group then as one. But at the same time people tend to not think as much because of the modern human instinct to fit in and not stick out and in a group people just go with the flow way too much and don’t speak out about their own...
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