The Mysterious Stranger Satirical Essay

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An encounter with Satan can be looked at in many different perspectives, and have many different reactions. When three young boys in the city of Eseldorf come across Satan, they particularly enjoy his presence, and his fantastical powers. In Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger, the satirical elements portrayed are Dramatic Irony, Absurdity, and Fantasy, to mock the ignorance and insignificance of the human race; and not only that, but also to draw the attention of humans and help make most of their flaws clear.

Speaking of insignificance and dramatic irony, “Knowledge was not good for the common people, and could make them discontented with the lot which God had appointed them, and God would not endure discontentment with His plans”(1). From the basic teachings of religion, knowledge is found to be an advantage, yet the statement made is quite contradictory. “His plans” seem to be to make the human race not only insignificant, but also ignorant. In some cases, ignorance leads to arrogance, such as Father Peters’ who “took no stock in the astrologer…-a fraud with no valuable knowledge of any kind, or powers beyond those of an ordinary and rather inferior human being”(2). In this case, Father Peter is portrayed as someone who had followed through with God’s plans, and was on the same page as Him; meaning that he felt no others should receive education either, whether it was considered valuable or not. Satan was also a believer in the insignificance of the human race, he even once mentioned that humans were “so dull and ignorant and trivial and conceited, and so diseased and rickety, and such a shabby, poor, worthless lot all around.”(8). Quite harshly phrased, but from his point of view, the blunt truth.

Satan always spoke truthfully, yet in the most absurd situations. Absurdity is one of the satirical elements most commonly portrayed throughout this book. At one point, Satan even offered to create a natural disaster, he said they could “have a storm now,...
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