In Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain makes use of various rhetorical strategies to convey a humorous atmosphere for his readers. Literary techniques such as Allusion, Irony, and use of the unexpected are all expressed within the book, particularly Chapter 14, in an abundance of ways.
An allusion to the tale of King Solomon the Wise is made in the first few moments of the chapter. Specifically through Twain’s character, Jim, with the paragraph, “He had some er de dad-fetchedes’… dat he ‘uz gwyne to chop in two?” This creates humor within the passage through Jim questioning how wise King Solomon could’ve really been due to his “Harem” of wives and his proposal of chopping a child in half within the tale resonating from the Bible. The humor stems from the both vernacular and Jim’s completely missing the point of the tale and creating upon himself a new point.
Twain’s use of Irony also attributes to his usage of the unexpected. It is ironic that Huckleberry Finn, the rowdy protagonist, is making an attempt to teach Jim about the bible. Referencing back to the beginning of the tale when Miss Watson attempted to teach Huck but he didn’t wish to listen, with the readers’ knowledge of this, Mark Twain successfully expresses the humor of this passage. Other details, such as Malapropism, are also used in the passage with Twain’s diction of “Dolphin” to express the word Dauphin in reference to the Elder Prince of France at the time.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish Huck and Jim’s close friendship. Twain also wishes to foreshadow two future chapters that occur within the book, the arrival of the Duke and the King, and Jim’s relationship with his very own daughter. A metaphor is also included within his purpose, expressing a role-reversal between Miss Watson and Huck that he has obtained throughout the course of the book.
Overall, the humor of this chapter is quite evident. Mark...
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