Huckleberry Finn - Satire to Criticize Society

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Satire, Mark Twain Pages: 4 (1242 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Mark Twain harshly undermines our society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain himself says, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” The side of majority in most cases can refer to the norms of society, in which Twain claims is where you wouldn’t like to be. That is because Twain’s views society as feeble in weak. He sees society at an almost hypocritical view, which can be seen through his great American classic. In Mark Twain’s novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain satirizes religion, civilization, and human nature to expose the flaws and weaknesses behind American society.

Twain criticizes religion in society through satirizing Miss Watson and Silas Phelps as highly religious yet hypocritical figures. Miss Watson was a leading character in Huck’s childhood, and gave multiple attempts at civilizing Huck into a civilized religious boy. Twain satirizes the hypocrisy of religion when describing Huck’s life with Watson and the widow. “Miss Watson she kept pecking at me, and it got tiresome and lonesome. By-and-by they fetched the niggers in and had prayers, and then everybody was off to bed.” (3) Twain states that religious people can be hypocrites in instances like this, where they purposely ignore certain teachings of their religion. The Bible encourages that people treat others they wish to be treated, and here Miss Watson blatantly ignores that by being a slave owner. By saying, “they fetched the niggers in and had prayers,” there is no evident contrast or pause highlighting this contradiction. Twain leaves the syntax in this manner to prove how leisurely and commonly people in society contradict their own religion. This goes to show how easily religious hypocrites managed to be accepted by society. Twain satirizes this aspect of ignorance existing within society through Silas Phelps as well. Phelps was a farmer as well as a preacher and, like many farmers of this time period, Phelps owned a few...
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