Examples Of Satire In Huck Finn

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Before the Civil War, slavery was a very popular practice in the southern United States. Though not many people actually had slaves, most southerners defended it because one day owning a slave was the “American Dream.” In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses satire to reveal the greed, religious hypocrisy, and gullibility among the pre-Civil War south. Twain uses satire to demonstrate how greed can leave a person with less than what they began with. In the novel, this is shown through the King and Duke’s actions. After stealing the six thousand dollars from the family of Peter Wilks, the Duke suggest, “That we glide out of this before three in the morning, and clip it down the river with what we got” (Twain 179), to which the King replies, “What! And not sell out the rest o’ the property?” (Twain 180). The Duke wants to leave with what they already stole, but the King gets greedy and decides to get more money by selling all of Peter Wilks property and slaves. This ends up being a bad decision on the King’s part because soon after the real brothers show up and the King and Duke must leave without any money, not even the already stolen six thousand. Twain uses the King’s greed to represent the southerners who did not want to give up slavery because they would lose money from it. In the end, slaves were freed and hundreds of plantations and southern properties were destroyed during the Civil War. One critic even wrote, “ Huck has to keep moving,
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