Satire is funny.
Though many people interpret satire in a serious nature, it is meant to ridicule a preexisting construct, such as the Christians in the time period of Huckleberry Finn. Most of the Christians believe that they are the best people, but they are portrayed in a mocking, almost ironic way. They claim to be civilized and polite, but they are the “people most lacking in brotherly love” (Johnson 19). The Christians believe in a loving, forgiving God, but yet hold slaves and treat them like they are the scum of the earth, and have no regard for their feelings. Their “polite manners, careful speech, nice clothes, and religious rituals” only cover up how cruel, fake, and morally backwards they truly are (Johnson 20). Arguably one of the most satirical moments was when the dauphin and his accomplice conned money off the church group. Normally this would be considered a very bad thing, but the church goers are portrayed as stupid and fake as well, making both the con men and the church goers look egregious.
Another construct that Mark Twain satirizes is the upper class, and their failed attempt at decency. Huckleberry Fin...
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... on. Since Jim is portrayed as smart and the backbone of the novel, it makes the satire between slaveholders and slaves funny. The misinterpretation is that the slaveholders are portrayed nicer than they actually were, but this is just satire that people overlook. The slaveholders, along with the rest of society, and satirized to the point of making civilized society look like a jungle. All of civilized society looks bad, and therefore, slaveholder do not look nice, they look like fools.
Though the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn had been the object of intense scrutiny since its debut in 1885, the novel remains a landmark in American literature and continues to highlight the “the spunkiness “and “independence” of the American spirit (Kay 16), due the books anti-slavery message and satire. For these reasons, Huckleberry Finn deserves to be taught in public schools.
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