Many school districts ban Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for being too racist. Whether it be the “n-word” or racism, we find so many faults with the novel but we never point out its fundamental problem: the book’s ridiculous and completely inaccurate depiction of slavery. Throughout the novel, Huck journeys with Jim outside with society, giving Twain multiple times to tell readers about slavery. In each attempt, however, Twain repeatedly fails to tell the readers the truth about slavery. Instead, he hides behind “satire” in order to excuse his depiction of the slavery experience and blames his characters for his inability to truly reveal the slavery experience. Regardless of Mark Twain’s intent in writing the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry …show more content…
Everyone knows that there is satire in Huck Finn, but Twain doesn’t tell the reader where satire stops and where truth begins. The biggest problem is with superstitions. When Huck describes Jim for the first time, he writes, “Jim, had a hairball as big as your fist… and he used to do magic with it… He said it would tell my whole fortune” (Twain 26). Huck obviously believes that Jim is crazy for believing in magic, but the fact that Jim does believe in something as far-fetched as that tells the readers that slaves during that period of time had absurd superstitions. Twain does not tell the reader that everything about Jim is satire so some readers end up believing that stereotype, which perpetuates the stereotype of African Americans as superstitious idiots. This stereotype is obviously untrue as Harriet Jacobs proves in Incidents. After Benjamin prepares to escape, he tells Harriet that “we are dogs here; foot-balls, cattle, ever thing that’s mean” (Jacobs 34). Benjamin acts perfectly rational as he plots his escape, with no hints of absurd superstitions anywhere. Twain completely misrepresents how slaves act when he capitalizes on the stereotype of superstitious behavior. Although Twain intended Jim’s behavior to be satire, readers cannot tell the difference and misread the novel. In Tom Quirk’s literary criticism, he explains that “the question is not whether or not Huckleberry Finn is racist, but… it is... ‘Do… students possess the literary sophistication to discern… its subtleties regarding race?’ If readers… profoundly misread the novel, can we truly expect high school students to get it right?” (Quirk 167). Whether the novel is racist does not matter; what matters is how readers perceive it. Twain refusal to differentiate truth from satire causes readers to misread the novel and
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The black man on the back porch is afraid of the rattle snake because it is bad luck, or the innocent little slave is quick to believe everything one tells them at the drop of the hat. These are just some of the many racist stereotypes of the 1840s. A character named Jim is the star African American whom Twain bestoys the mission of being the stereotypical black man to prove a point. He along with his much more pallor companion Huck go on exciting adventures that unfold the events which expose the racist conduct of the time. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain saturates his novel with potent images of acute racism severe enough as to create a satirical mien that exposes the absurdity of prejudice.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a novel that describes various American situations during the 1800s through the perspective of a young boy named Huckleberry Finn. This book narrates and focuses on the ‘adventures’ that Huck goes through with other characters. On his way down the Mississippi River, Huck meets new people, faces challenges, and makes up lies to cover himself and the people he meets. Although it may seem as a classical novel, it contains many instances in which satire was used to expose the characters by emphasizing their character and personality using irony and humor. Twain used satire to ultimately describe and make fun of the way that society behaved during the pre-Civil War period in the 1800s.
These reasons show why Twain may have intended to discourage racism. In the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain it is a story of a troubled young boy and his good friend Jim. In the story Twain is not trying to portray racism toward the character Jim but rather is discouraging it. We see examples in the novel where Twain shows how Jim differs from other White men who cheat others, how he describes the white and black symbolism, and shows empathy for Jim.
Mark Twain's Use of Satire in Huck Finn Satire is the use of irony, sarcasm or ridicule in exposing or denouncing the stupidity or vices of a person, group, or society. Twain's use of satire caused many misunderstandings throughout the novel, such as taking the jokes about society too seriously. Twain tried to use the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, to point out the main problems in society such as racism, slavery, and the hypocrisy of civilians. The most common uses of satire were seen in the discussion of superstition, religious hypocrisy, and slavery.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written Mark Twain in 1884. Twain portrays the meaning of the work is that one has to be adequately smart to know what is right and wrong. Twain’s tone throughout the book is satirical and mocking, thus Twain uses satire to communicate his message. Twain uses Christian individuals to show religious hypocrisy in the American culture.
In the famous book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain the author of this book is a master at using what is called satire in this novel. Satire can be many things, but according to the dictionary satire is explained as, “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues” (“Satire Definition & Meaning”). This novel starts with a young boy who runs away from a terrible, drunk, and abusive father. His adventure is following the Mississippi River. He embarks on his journey and soon finds Jim a runaway slave.
This shows how people view Jim and the severity of his escaping. The views of slavery are so set in stone that the black boy escaping is more heinous a crime than that of a white man killing his son. Twain uses figurative language throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. One example would be when he is describing a summer storm in chapter 9. Twain talks about the trees looking “dim and spider-webby,” and how when the wind blows through, it “set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just wild.”
American literature has always been a form of entertainment and education. When slaves were introduced as characters in books, they were always negative, stereotypical characters, but not until 1883 when Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a change made. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book about a southern white boy in the 1800’s that runs away with an escaped slave on the Mississippi River. For years, schools have been debating on if the book should be banned in schools or not, and it is already on a variety of banned lists. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should not be banned in schools because it is an anti-slavery novel that teaches students valuable lessons and informs students of the past culture.
Mark Twain uses satire to portray different issues that were going on during the time period. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, author Mark Twain uses Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer to represent romanticism and realism. Doing so formed the characters into two drastically different persons. Mark Twain uses satirical elements to contrast the two main characters in their personalities and views. Tom Sawyer is a child who is blinded with fictional literature and the worlds view on slaves.
Overall, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, criticizes the moral conditioning of society. Twain utilizes situational irony, mockery, and absurdity to satirize racism through Huck’s journey. Twain’s use of stereotypes uncovers racial hypocrisy by criticizing the way society has taught young kids to think about black people. Twain uses irony to mock the way the government treats slaves and African
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain utilizes satire to convey the overall message of the novel, that society is flawed; he implies one should refrain from orienting their personal moral compass and ideals by what others dictate, because society is imperfect. This is evident in Huck’s moral struggle with the concept of slavery: Twain uses slavery as an example to satirize religion and hypocrisy. He also satirizes “us vs them” mentalities through the example of the Sherburn and Boggs incident. He also mocks the baselessness and irony of racism in American society. Satire is used in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn against religious hypocrisy, mob mentality, and racism to highlight these human flaws and address dark and serious issues with a touch of humor.
Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” Twain centers his well-known novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, around this common and contagious plague, stupidity. This lengthy novel leads the reader through the thrilling adventures of a young boy and his runaway slave as they travel north. Mark Twain utilizes satire to expose the stupidity of the people in his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Twain's Relationship with Satire in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Authors use satire as a way to ridicule society and things they disagree with. In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn makes use of satire throughout the story to criticize the racism of the pre-civil war South. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn take place in the slave state of Missouri in the 1800s. Huck grew up with an alcoholic father; to break free he escapes on a raft where he eventually meets Jim, a runaway slave.
Mark Twain's Use of Satire in Huckleberry Finn Throughout his pieces of literature, the famous American author Mark Twain portrays his personal views of society using satire and irony in his stories. He makes fun of broken parts in the American society relentlessly and makes sure the readers understand how outrageous some acts were during the early-to-mid 1800s. Twain seems to target specific aspects in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn such as how young people could be conflicted between morality and legality, the loss of self-respect for money, and the effects of herd mentality. He has an interesting approach at giving the reader insight, but his main ideas for the theme shine through and are clearly depicted.
Ryan Scaggs Mrs. Johnson Huck Finn Essay October 25, 2015 Racism and Slavery Throughout Throughout his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain exposes many themes that related well with the 1880s America during which Twain wrote the novel. Many important themes are at the center of the book, such as the conflict between civilization and Huck’s “natural life”. However, the most well-known thematic aspect of this novel is the inclusion of racism and slavery in that day’s society.