Huck Finn as a Social Protest Novel

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As Mark Twain takes you through the sometimes exciting and captivating journey of the young character Huck, he takes you even deeper into his protests toward society. Each character and each situation plays a precise and symbolic role as Twain satirizes society for its many faults and hatreds. As you will come to learn, he had many. Therefore, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the definition of a social protest novel.

Twain uses conflict between the adversary families the Shepherdsons and Grangerfolds to depict the many-religious-hypocrisies of so-called devout Christians of society. This hypocrisy is apparent when Huck related how at, "Church [during a sermon of brotherly love]… the men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall." (Twain 146) This depicts the hypocrisies of these so-called Christians as the worst sort of violent and ignorant hypocrites – they profess to adhere to the ideology of peaceful Christianity and practicing divine understanding, while preparing to kill off each and every member of the adversary family in which they hate for some long-forgotten reason. Because of their living hypocrisy these Christians brought along their guns [to church] knowing their enemies would be side-by-side listening to the sermon, and went against that peace and understanding they supposedly agree so much with. Huck continued to narrate, "It was pretty ornery preaching - all about brotherly love and such-like tiresomeness…"(Twain 146) This further explains the setting they are in as a place of peace, and shows that even in church in absence of all the outside world they are living out their hypocrisy by not adhering to that brotherly love. Furthermore, there is no brotherly love with a gun between your knee and a fight around the corner. Overall, Twain protests so-called Christian ideals as irrelevant if those Christians are unable to practice what they preach.

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