Essay about The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

Essay about The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

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Humor, along with its various forms, including satire, is often used to present social commentaries. This is especially true in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In his novel, Twain tells the story of a boy named Huckleberry Finn voyaging down the Mississippi River to free his slave companion, Jim. In doing so, Twain evokes many issues of Southern culture. Through the use of satirical devices, characterization, and story, the author enlightens readers and offers a critique on racism and religion. One of the best, if not the single most important, humorist in American history, Mark Twain, through his satire, paints a portrait of the pre-Civil War American South and all its flaws.
In recent years, there has been increasing debate of the seemingly racist ideas expressed by Mark Twain in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In her acceptance speech of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey remarked, “And, yet, I hope that, like Mark Twain, a hundred years from now, people will see my work and think, ‘Wow!’ That is actually pretty racist.” Despite using the word “nigger” more than two hundred times in the novel, Mark Twain, nor his work, is racist. The use of the racial slur is only to provide accurate context of the story and to demonstrate the racism of Southern culture.
In the story, on a superficial level, the character of Huckleberry Finn might appear to be racist. When Huck first addresses Jim, he is given a very negative description. The reader is told that Jim is illiterate, childlike, simpleminded, and extremely superstitious. However, it is important not to lose sight of who is giving this description and of whom it is being given. Although Huck is not a racist child, the extremely racist individ...


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The American South, a society of its own within the United States, and a nation of its own during the Civil War, contains many distinct qualities. During the life of Mark Twain, racism and religion were very much apparent in Southern life. Even after the emancipation of blacks, in the South, they were still treated as property. Additionally, people would do anything for their God and church. These two key principles of that society are ridiculed and mocked by Twain in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. More than presenting his own opinions through the story and characters of the novel, it presents a reflection of the true identity of the United States. Because a boy can disappear, a boy can survive on his own, and a boy can become part of a nation 's hopes for itself, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a masterpiece of humor, wit, satire, and truth.

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