Social Commentary In Whitewashing The Fence

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Mark Twain's incredibly unique writing style consisted of several stylistic elements. One of these elements is social commentary. Social commentary is the act of commenting on problems you find in society, usually in a humorous way. We can see an example of social commentary in "Whitewashing the Fence". In "Whitewashing the Fence", Tom Sawyer is forced to whitewash his Aunt Polly's fence as a punishment, but he soon finds a way around his retribution by tricking the other boys in the neighborhood to finish his chore for him. Through this act Tom discovers a great law that is seen in the story when it is stated, "He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it -- namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing,…show more content…
The most symbolic piece of evidence is the different songs mentioned in this novel. We can see an example of symbolism when Kino, a poor pearl diver, finds the Pearl of the World, and tries to sell the pearl so him and his wife and young son, Juana and Coyotito, can have a better life. For example, the first song mentioned is the "Song of the Family," and it appeared when Kino wakes up to a normal morning and in this part of the story Steinbeck wrote, "In Kino's head there was a song now, clear and soft, and if he had been able to speak of it, he would have called it the Song of the Family." This song is symbolic in the story because it describes the "goodness" and "friendliness" of the family and the morning and when things are about to go his way in the part of the story. This song can also be symbolic because it describes the togetherness of the houses and how everyone gets along well. The Song of the Family can also be used to represent a setting without problems or when something good is about to happen. Another song mentioned in the text, is the "Song of Evil," and this was mentioned for the first time when the scorpion comes and is about to sting Coyotito. The book stated, "In his mind a new song has come, the Song of Evil, the music of the enemy, of any foe of the family, a savage, secret, dangerous melody, and underneath, the Song of the Family cried plaintively." This quote proves that the Song of Evil is symbolic to the text because it appeared when the setting is about to be "bad" or "evil" or something "dangerous" was about to happen. The Song of Evil usually shows up when someone the family dislikes is about to enter the setting or the family is about to be cheated, stolen from, or attacked. John Steinbeck's life impacted this book because he experienced many tragic event during his lifetime (some, at first, he thought was good) that
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