Mark Twain and Huckle Berry Finn

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kSarah Nelson
Mr. Del Rio
AP Team 2
13 February 2012
The Child Knows Better
After the Civil War, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were added to the Constitution, liberating black slaves and giving them equal rights, but this was only a gold lining that covered the dark truth of this age. Although the country seemed independent and good hearted, Mark Twain presents social situations that conclude otherwise. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn clearly criticizes society by using the young boy Huck Finn as an honest reference source to reveal the social ills, such as the hypocrisy and blind acceptance, Huck is exposed to, resulting in a sense of guilt inflicted on the reader due to the gilded social behaviors this young boy resents.

Mark Twain places Huck in situations where the people ignorantly accept without question in order to reveal the stupidity of the people via Huck’s thoughts. Huck runs into two con-men who address themselves as the Duke and the King. These men invite Huck to join them in their swindling, in which Huck witnesses them impersonating the English brothers of a wealthy man who has passed away (206-215). The men make a dramatic performance and all the people who knew of the death cried and sobbed with them, believing the con-men were the brothers (206). Huck Finn reacts to this my saying, “It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race” (206). Tom Sawyer also exposes Huck to the blind acceptance of society when he forces Huck to accomplish tasks in a very inefficient way because it is written in the books. Tom is even quoted in saying, “It don’t make no difference how foolish it is, it’s the right way – and it’s the regular way,” which ridicules people for foolishly not questioning the norm (311). Twain uses morals that are generally thought as right and portrays characters as avoiding those morals to expose the hypocrisy of American society. Huck’s statement “I’m best if it don’t look to me like the truth is...
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