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In "The Clockmaker" the character Sam Slick is an American who is a trickster and cannot be trusted. He has the ability to convince people that in order to live a more luxurious life they needed one of his clocks even though he knew that they could not afford it. He convinces them that a clock that only cost him six-fifty to make is worth the forty that they paid. Haliburton makes the Americans look as if they are the same as his character Sam Slick. The name "Sam" stands for an all American name and "Slick" stands for untrustworthy but at the same time smart. At the beginning of "The Clockmaker" Haliburton makes an offensive statement about Americans: "I heard of Yankee clock pedlars, tin pedlars, and bible pedlars" (83). Referring to Americans as occupying themselves with trifles, he also refers to Americans as Yankees, meaning foreigners.
The character Sam Slick who is an American target in "The Clockmaker" is both obvious and plentiful; Nova Scotians as targets are far less frequent. "How is it that an American can sell his wares, at whatever price he pleases, where a blue-nose would fail to make a sale at all?
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Nova Scotians as targets by Haliburton occur less frequently than Americans; politicians as targets occur even more rarely than Nova Scotians. In "The Clockmaker" the narrator refers to Governor Cass while the clockmaker is talking to Mr. Deacon Flint. "Then there is that water privilege, worth 3,000 to 4,000 dollars, twice as good as what governor Cass paid 15,000 dollars for" (84). Haliburton is mocking the governor for paying so much for his water privilege, when the water isn't even good. Haliburton is mocking the governor by making him look like either a bad negotiator or someone who is willing to spend money on anything in order to look good. The use of satire that was used when targeting the politician was humorous at the Governors expense.
Haliburton targets British colonist as well as Americans, Nova Scotians and politicians. Haliburton targets British colonist because "They refuse to alter traditional ways of doing things and because they patronized colonists" (Klinck 92-101). Haliburton refers to British men as Englishmen "An Englishman would pass that man as a sheep passes a hog in a pasture, without looking at him" (84). This quote also refers to an Englishman who would not dream of taking advantage of an old man to make a sell where an American would. Haliburton uses irony to convey his point of targeting British colonist. He does not agree with keeping their traditional ways but he believes that what they do is all right. When targeting British colonist, Haliburton is also targeting himself because he believes that he is of British stock.
Of the five targets that Haliburton perceives in "The Clockmaker" women as targets are the easiest to prove. In "The Clockmaker" the names of the women characters help support this. There is Mrs. Flint and Mrs. Steel both names meaning something hard, tough obdurate, or cruel. Haliburton was very clever when choosing the names of the women characters, because when flint and steel hit each other they emit a spark. He hints to the fact that their might be some sparks between the women. Haliburton also targets women because of human nature; "We can do without any articles of luxury we have never had, but when once obtained, it isn't "In Human Nature" to surrender it voluntarily" (85). He knows that once a woman has something that she wants, she is not likely to give it up very easily. Mr. Slick also "Trusts to "soft sawder" to get them into the house and to "human nature" that they never come out of it" (85).
On the basis of targets in "The Clockmaker" it is clear that Haliburton targets women, Americans, politicians, Nova Scotians and British colonists. Haliburton used many different types of satire when identifying his targets for example when he targeted Americans he used irony and humour. The humour of "The Clockmaker" is very satirical, in the sense that it makes everyone like Haliburton's work.