The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & Mark Twain's Social Commentary

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Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a book about a boy who travels down the river with a runaway slave. Twain uses these two characters to poke fun at society. They go through many trials, tribulations, and tests of their friendship and loyalty. Huck Finn, the protagonist, uses his instinct to get himself and his slave friend Jim through many a pickle. In the book, there are examples of civilized, primitive, and natural man.

Civilized man is shown in the book. The widows are a good example. They do everything proper and go to church regularly. They also try to civilize Huck, but he doesn't want any part of it. The widows treat their slaves well, showing class. The judge is also civilized. From the eyes of common decency, his decision that Huck should stay with his father was a good one. If you didn't know Jim Finn was abusive, you would probably want to keep family together too. This decision of his shows he is civilized. Mark Twain used satire to poke fun at civilization. By writing about how religion was part of everyday life and Huck didn't want to learn about it, Twain was saying that society places too much emphasis on religion. It's ironic that Huck, who to the casual reader seems like a simple, uneducated boy, turns out to be a pure and strong willed person. In contrast to the civilized, there is primitive man.

There is plenty of primitive behavior. Pap is an excellent example. He is the epitome of white trash. He is loud, drunk, and abusive, displaying no signs of decent human behavior. He tries holding down Huck, but Huck broke away. Huck is also primitive at times, giving in to the idea that he's better than Jim because he's white. Jim is a bit primitive at times with his superstition and belief that English is the only real language. It is also ironic that the crowd tarred and feathered the Duke and the King. The majority population believed themselves to be the civilized ones, when they were nothing more than a crazy mob. Twain was basically...
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