The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn : Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a novel written by Mark Twain, is an important literary work because of it's use of satire. It is a story written about a boy, Huck, in search of freedom and adventure. In the beginning of the story you learn what has happened since The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Huck and Tom found a hidden treasure that was later invested for them. Huck was taken in by Mrs. Watson, who attempted to teach him religion and proper manners, but was taken away when his father returned. Pap, being a drunk and abusive father, imprisons Huck because he wants the money Huck has invested for him. Huck fakes his own death and hides out on Jackson's Island, where he discovers Jim, Mrs. Watson's former slave, is also hiding. Jim turns into a father figure and also a friend to Huck. The innocence Huck has leads him to having a true friendship in a time of racial discrimination. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain employs several types of satire including verbal irony, rhetorical questions jargon, and parallelism.

Verbal irony by definition is when someone states one thing and means another; an incongruity between what is said and what is meant. Twain uses verbal irony in his novel when the band of robbers are discussing the meaning of “ransoming.” Tom says, “Well I don't know, but perhaps if we keep them till they're ransomed, it means we keep them until they're dead.” (Twain 12) All of the boys in the gang immediately agreed upon this definition with Tom. This is an example of satire because Twain is trying to show that though something may be wrong, if society believes it to be true, then it may conform to the “truth.” The verbal irony of this is how Tom is stating what he believes to be ransoming, but not actually knowing what it is to ransom. I believe this shows how ignorant as well as dependent on others out civilization can be.

In addition to his use of verbal irony, Twain uses rhetorical questions which are question posed by the...
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