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Huckleberry Finn Satire Essay

Satire is the use of humor, irony, or exaggeration to reveal or ridicule human vices. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain uses a variety of satire to call out human ignorance. He uses his main character a 14-year boy from before the Civil War as his catalyst to show a child’s innocence in a twisted society. When Huckleberry Finn fakes his death and runs away from his alcoholic father to Jackson Island, where Finn finds Jim a previous slave to his adopters that tried to civilize Finn.

In the book, the reader can see Finn is growing in his adventure as he helps Jim a runaway slave escape to the north. The satire is used o show all the vices of the civilized world like slavery, being civilized, and society itself. Finn struggles with the idea of helping Jim escape to be a free man because Finn was raised to believe that owning slaves is normal and that African Americans are less than Caucasians. While Finn has trouble deciding whether Jim is human or not since he would be deferring from society’s norms.

Moreover, Twain made Jim more stereotypical in the beginning of the book as superstitious by describing “Jim always kept that five-center piece round his neck with a string, and said it was a charm the devil give to him with his own hands, and told him he ould cure anybody with it and fetch witches whenever he wanted to just by saying something to it”(6), this is used to make Jim two dimensional as a stereotype. Then Twain put the stereotype aside as Finn gets to know Jim. Through the journey Finn thinks he will go to hell if he helps Jim, but in the end he says he is willing to go to hell if it meant helping Jim.

Shown when Finn does not have the heart to turn Jim in as a runaway. Throughout the journey that Finn changes, as he becomes a companion to Jim. This change in morality is a way to rub it in societies face that the treatment of slaves and racism is wrong. Another way the reader sees this is before the two make their companionship Finn perceived Jim as Miss Watson’s property, Jim is not seen as a person and Finn thought he is stealing from Miss Watson. Leading Finn guilty for helping Jim because even though he did not like Miss. Watson or the Widow Douglas they did genuinely try to help Finn, but Miss.

Watson was going to sell Jim away from his family. Still when Finn goes on to shore he finds out that Jim has been framed for Finn’s fake death and Finn is surprised because after all his hard work to make it seem like his Father murdered him and the wrong person gets ccused because they are a runaway slave since a Caucasian man could not have done it especially if recently a slave has runaway. This runaway must have murdered Finn because why else would he runaway? Twain shows the close mindedness of the town to accuse Jim when Finn’s Father is the town’s drunkard and is known to abuse Finn.

Additionally, Finn shows that he is concerned about Jim in that moment of hearing Jim being framed for his murder. meaning he is starting to see him more as a human than a piece of property. Another time when Finn is affected emotionally by Jim is when he pranks Jim on the aft and says ” I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that on if l’d ‘a’ knowed it would make him feel that way” (86) because when Finn pulled his prank Jim was fully concerned for Finn’s well being and Finn felt guilty knowing that Jim care for him while he thought he was going to have fun with his prank.

The satire used in Jim and Finn’s relationship is to point out racism is only skin deep, but not personality deep while Finn was taught that slavery is normal he still decides to help Jim escape even if it means going to hell for it also to show the one sided nature of society. It has a deeper meaning because he is a kid who decided that helping Jim is morally right along his journey and helping Jim. When Finn lands in the feud between the Shepherdson’s and Grangerfords he finds out the civilized world might not be as respectable as he thought. Once the pair raft is split by a steam boat Finn is found on shore by the Grangerfords.

The Grangerfords are as Finn sees them as “well born, as the saying is, and that’s worth as much in a man as it is in a horse” (104 ), which is ironic because horses are bred to be better at running and jump, but if one of their legs gets hurt most owners just kill he horse and name it useless. Comparing a horse to a man who was placed in wealth because of his family is saying that if this man is ever to stand up and say he doesn’t want this or choose a different route not approved of his family he would be disowned or ignored for the rest of his life.

Afterward, when Finn angerford about the feud, he discovers that the feud started so long ago and asked Buck Grangerfors if he knows which family started the feud he replys “laws, how do I know? It was so long ago”(108). Twain uses this to expose that the civilized world has idiotic fighting because the in the feud no ne knows what they are fighting about, but are willing to continue meaninglessly. Furthermore, the fight started so long ago with no one knowing who started it so why continue to kill people for such dismal reasoning of pointing fingers.

This juxtaposes the beginning of the story when Finn is adopted by Widow Douglas and she tried to ” sivilize me [Finn]; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways” (1) because Finn could not stand to be civilized because he thought that his upbringing as the son of the town’s drunkard had no right in eing civilized ,so when he is shown that some of the most civilized types of people still act uncivilized it makes his desire to not get civilized stronger.

It is when a Romeo and Juliet scenario with Miss Sophia Grangerford and Harney Shepherdson elope does the feud explode killing many people on both sides. When Buck Grangerford is murdered does it show a grand effect because he is Finn’s same age and because of this meaningless feud he never gets to grow up, live his childhood, or enjoy his life since his family was in this feud. Likewise, through the use of imagery the satire is clearly defines the stupidity of the feud hen both the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons went to church and “the men took their guns along” (109).

These families brought guns to a place of worship and peace where one is supposed to love their neighbor. This satire is used to show the refined world is not as logical or just as it might seem from just having an outsiders opinion and to point out the details that are overlooked by spectators. On the way to Cairo, the pair picks up two fellow swindlers called the King and the Duke. The new passengers threaten Jim and Finn that if they do not let them continue with them that they will turn in Jim.

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