Mark Twain's Satire in Huck Finn

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Jacob Caldwell
Period 1
4-17-13
American People are nothing but a joke!

Mark Twain satirizes American society by creating characters who subtly mock controversial situations and events that are filled with irony. Within The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain exposes the contradictory practices of adults through the eyes of a 12 year old named, Huckleberry Finn. Twain uses satire as a technique to discuss and denounce popular ethical-arguments in the late-1800’s America. Each time that Huck witnesses these satirical characters make a decision, or choose a side, of their view on a socially indifferent experience, it is a large learning milestone for Huck to see the choice and the consequences that follow. False Advertisements and Cons are subjected to Mark Twain’s satire. Two con-men, Edmund Kean and David Garrick, are introduced to Huck and Jim when they are being run out of town for their earlier schemes. The two men introduce themselves as the Duke and the Dauphin, and continue with on a tear down the Mississippi River tricking more and more people.  It is clear that these con-men’s lies are bad, for they are run out of every single town they attempt to swindle and trick. Huck recognizes that he himself tells a number of lies to a few people, like the slave-hunters, to whom he makes up a story about a small-pox outbreak in order to protect Jim. Huck realizes that telling a lie sometimes can actually be a good thing, depending on its actual purpose. Huck states, “But that is always the way; it don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no sense, and just goes for him anyway” (231); recognizing that even if he lies for a good reason, he will question himself and the guilt will eat away at him. This insight is part of Huck’s learning process, as he finds that some of the rules he has been taught contradict what seems to be “right”. In some instances, the lines between a con, legitimate entertainment, and...
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