Huckleberry Finn: a Satirical Work

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Huckleberry Finn: A Satirical Work

Mark Twain’s novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” is considered to be one of the greatest works of American history. His use of humorous satire is unparalleled in modern writing. The meanings of his book are hidden deep within the pages, causing some to question its satirical nature. Written years after the civil war ended slavery, the book takes place in the pre-civil war south; a place ridden with slavery and racism. He uses satire to attack the racism that still thrived even after the death of slavery, the hypocrisy of the religious southerners, and superstition in a lighter more humorous sense. Mark Twain’s satire is one that needs to be looked at in a deeper sense than as pure humor.

Mark Twain uses satire to attack racism in many ways. Jim is a huge part of Twains anti racist satire. Jim is portrayed as an outstanding person, risking his life to help Huck countless times and even giving up his freedom to save Tom Sawyer in the end. Although he shows many admirable human qualities, he is treated as less than human. He is treated as property by the southerners or simply as though he has less value than them. This is incredibly ironic in the sense that in most cases Jim would be considered a much better person than his abusers; he could even be considered to have more “value” as a person. With his excessive use of the “N” word he is both sticking to the true way people talked back then, and making an example of how lowly blacks were treated. Even Huck Finn, although not portrayed as racist, had clear trouble differing between Jim as a friend or as stolen property; he makes many troubling decisions about this throughout the book. This is an example of how deep rooted racism was in society. Mark Twain is not being bluntly racist anywhere in the book, but simply criticizing people who are racist.

The religious people in the book showed high levels of hypocrisy, not just the slave owners but others as well. The...
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