Mob Mentality in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The critic Kenny Williams states that the Colonel Sherburn scene inThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark twain, “allow[s] a brief platform for Twain to express his own contempt for mobs in an era known for such activities and lawlessness.” This draws the attention to other scenes Twain uses to show his contempt for activities in society. In his novel Mark Twain uses characters and scenes to show his disdain for zealot faith, corrupt human nature, and blind adherence to law.
In the beginning of the novel, Mark Twain shows his disdain for the blind faith of religion through Huck’s confusion. For example, when Huck states; “I says to myself, if a body can get anything they pray for, why don't Deacon Winn get back the money he lost on pork? Why can't the widow get back her silver snuffbox that was stole? Why can't Miss Watson fat up? No, says I to myself, there ain't nothing in it,” (14) he cannot comprehend how the answers to prayers can be selective. Twain uses Huck to show his own opposition towards the blind faith people put in prayer, when they rarely receive what it is they are praying for. Twain also shows his distaste for the gullibility of religious people. In chapter twenty, when the King and Huck visit a church, the King pretends that he is a pirate, who after hearing this sermon is now reformed, and will try to convince his fellow pirates to follow in his footsteps. The people of the church believe his story with no hesitation and even go as far as to take up a collection for his quest to reform the other pirates. “And then he busted in to tears, and so did everybody else. Then somebody sings out ‘Take up a collection for him, take up a collection!’ ...So the King went all through the crowd with his hat, swabbing his eyes, and blessing the people and praising them and thanking them for being so good to the poor pirates away off there;...and he was invited to stay a week; and everybody wanted him...
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