Satire in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, makes use of satire to undermine the morals and beliefs that are upheld in modern people. By underscoring the follies of everyday people, he reveals the real, sycophantic ways of people, where morals and beliefs are only upheld if the majority believes it also. The fear that people have of being ostracized hinders them to change and defy the majority.
When Sherburn killed the town drunk, Boggs, the town all amassed and attempted to punish Sherburn for his supposed crime. Sherburn, instead of giving into the crowd’s mentality and submitting himself to punishment, retorts against the crowd and lectures them about mob mentality. Twain satirizes mob mentality in this scene because he simply states that people cannot think for themselves and they need to follow a majority. Without a guidance of a mob, people are aimlessly meandering, not sure what to believe in or what to do with their lives. Twain makes use of Sherburn to emphasize this folly in people. Their sycophantic ways into submitting themselves so quickly into mob mentality as to not be eschewed themselves.
Twain also makes fun of the fight between the Sheperdsons and Grangerfords, where the fight lasts for many years and no one knows why they are fighting. When Huck questions Buck about the fight, mainly who started it, Buck stood there, starstruck almost, because he could not devise an answer as to why they were fighting. This mocks and satirizes another fight going on in that time period, mainly the Hatfields and McCoys which lasted several years. However, in Twain’s example of the Granderfords and Sheperdsons, he clearly emphasizes the ignorance portrayed by both sides of the fight, demonstrating that they are willing to take each other’s lives, not knowing the purpose for it. In the end, all of the effort put into the fight will be in vain due to the fact that they do not know what they...
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