How Does Mark Twain Use Satire

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In Grangerford episode The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses satire to attack the Grangerfords by exposing hypocrisy in their way of life. Twain does this to criticize the behavior of the slave-owning plantation families in the South. One of the best examples of this is the feud the Grangerfords have with the Shepherdson family. The Grangerfords are perceived as being of high social class, but by the end of the episode, Twain makes it apparent that they are awful people. When he first meets them, Huck describes the Grangerfords as “a mighty nice family” (100) with a nice plantation to match. The Grangerfords are the aristocratic owners of a plantation of over 100 slaves. The head of which, is the Colonel Grangerford, the quintessential Southern gentleman who has a fresh shave every morning and wears clean linen suits “so white…show more content…
Twain writes that “The men took their guns along [to church], and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall. The Shepherdsons done the same.” (110). Once in the church, they listen to a sermon “all about brotherly love” (110). Twain goes on to explain how the church goers appreciated the topic and discussed it on their ride home. This is outrageously ironic on a number of levels. First, just the concept that the Grangerfords would be at war with a family that is so similar to them that they go to the same church. The irony in the two families being so warlike that they bring their weapons into their place of worship. Lastly, how out of all possible topics, the sermon was about brotherly love in this particular situation nonetheless. Not to mention that even after reflecting on what they heard in church the families continue to engage in a battle later that day. Twain is trying to prove that overly powerful people like the Grangerfords or the Shepherdsons are either foolish or
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