Examples Of Satire In Huckleberry Finn

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Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain satirizes multiple behaviors and customs that were common in the South during the 19th century. Twain is able to criticize the flaws of society, including the idea of organized religion, through the eyes of the young protagonist, Huckleberry Finn. Huck Finn is a young boy learning to be “sivilized,” and one of the things he is introduced to by Miss Watson is religion. As an outsider, his voice is utilized by Twain to point out the fallacies of religion through irony and satire. The entire novel is a comedy of manners. In this case, Twain is showing his satirical stance on organized religion through Huck. When Miss Watson first tells Huck about the “bad place,” or hell, his immediate reaction is to …show more content…

Twain uses situational irony by saying Huck would prefer hell, which was associated with evil and punishment, over heaven with Miss Watson. To Huck, her description of heaven as a place where everyone just had to play a harp and sing is dull and unappealing. Here, Twain points out the society of his time’s idealistic view of heaven, despite them having no concrete evidence about it, so to make up for this lack of information, they create their own scenarios of life in paradise. He follows this point with Huck’s view on prayer as ineffective since it was for “spiritual gifts” only. When Huck realizes how prayer does not yield physical benefits, he decides that prayer is useless since he “couldn’t see no advantage about it-except for other people.” Through this statement, Twain identifies how religion was supposedly completely selfless, but ultimately useless for the individual. He also presents the different ideas of religion through the juxtaposition of Miss Watson and the Widow Douglas in their behavior towards Huck. Miss Watson is scolding and strict while the widow is kind and compassionate, and their values about Christianity reflect their attitudes.

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