Religious Hypocrisy in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Religious Hypocrisy in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Length: 757 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


 

Huckleberry Finn – Religious Hypocrisy

 

 

Every so often a piece of literature is written that can question the beliefs of millions of people with what they hold to be true. Nothing is held to be truer than the feeling of righteousness, being faithful, morally pure, and the idea of an exalted higher purpose- religion. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn questions this truth. Indirectly, Mark Twain argues and criticizes the great deal of religious hypocrisy the American culture faces. Through the masterful use of satire and anecdote, the author conveys his repulsion to the dishonest church goers and religious practices, often cloaked behind a veil of humor.

Mark Twain uses mountains of satirical imagery to help carry his theme. I took up, and held it in my hand. I was trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. As a runaway boy, Huck Finn has the painstaking choice of doing the right thing to write a letter to the owner of a runaway slave and tell where the slave was, or go to hell if he helps the slave Jim, his friend. Morally, Huck is taught to give Jim in, but he sacrifices himself to take up wickedness again and steal Jim out of slavery. Defying his religious teachings, ironically, Huck does the most Christ like thing.

 

Mark Twain creatively puts in incidents that the reader can infer to represent religion and the church followers who refuse to learn the teachings. Another time, when Huck talks to a skiff with two men in it with guns looking for runaway slaves, he lies to stop them from searching his raft and finding Jim. He tells them that his pap got smallpox, and he needed their help to move the raft. The guys who were so concerned to rave through the raft are making excuses not to. Now we're trying to do you a kindness; so you just put twenty miles between us. The men don't want the smallpox so they feel sorry for Huck and they give him a twenty-dollar gold piece each. The men symbolize the church followers who solve any problem they have by giving money to the church and believing that they solved the problem but in reality only ran away from it.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Religious Hypocrisy in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Mar 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=15663>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Consideration on Religious Hypocrisy and Morals in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

- ... This only set the stage for the two con men to take advantage of the religious hypocrisy and use a major part of Christianity, Providence, to determine how they may swindle the village. All three instances mentioned above show that Twain’s world is rife with religious hypocrisy. The religious hypocrisy of these characters depicts the shaky moral foundation of southern society that drives the interactions between them. Where Huck and Jim are and whether there are people close by directly impacts the interactions between the two low class males: On the raft, in isolation from the values and religion of “civilized” man, Huck and Jim become friends....   [tags: Mark Twain novels, story analysis]

Research Papers
1804 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

- Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is credited by many critics in the present day as the first American novel. The novel is told from the first-person perspective of the main character, Huckleberry Finn, a young mischievous and adventurous boy. Huckleberry Finn, better known as Huck goes through a series of events and lessons alongside his caregiver’s slave, Nigga Jim. Huck and Jim find themselves running from the restraints of St. Petersburg throughout the novel....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer]

Research Papers
1125 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

- Satire is a writing technique used oftentimes as a way to criticize or mock something comically. Many writers utilize satire to reveal their perspectives on social issues without outright stating them. Mark Twain 's novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn exhibits many examples of satire, all of which hint towards Twain 's opinions of the American society he lived in. Three particular societal norms Mark Twain uses satire to mock multiple times in his novel, include but are not limited to; racism and slavery, religion, and family feuds....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer]

Research Papers
1006 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, one of the most satirical classical novels, is considerably one of the greatest pieces of literature ever produced. By having his protagonist face constant internal and external dilemmas about freeing a benevolent slave, Mark Twain examines the complexity of several problems of the era and uses his work to reveal the prevalent issues in America. Huck chooses to embrace his conscience and rejects the contradictory dictates of conformity; his decision addresses the themes of societal hypocrisy, moral education, and racism as all of these factors combine to negatively affect Huck as he attempts to build his character....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer]

Research Papers
1279 words (3.7 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

- A young white boy from the deep south, a runaway slave, and a daring adventure for freedom, sounds like the making for a literary disaster, right. Many people believe that the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is profoundly racist and disgusting, and have sought to have it banned from their local public schools. However, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a prime example of a book that has broken down stereotypes about slaves and satirized the social constructs of the South. Huckleberry Finn should be taught in schools due to the satire of preexisting constructs and the profound anti-slavery message....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Satire]

Research Papers
1789 words (5.1 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay examples

- Satire in Huckleberry Finn No matter in the past or present, the world never lacks actors and their nauseating affectations can be seen everywhere in life. They are pretending to have all those perfect beliefs and feelings and acting like the greatest people ever while they are really not. Satire is used by Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to depict how all kinds of people say one thing and do another in America in early 1800s, demonstrating that Mark Twain wants readers to be aware of the hypocrisy and ignorance of American society....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Satire, Tom Sawyer]

Research Papers
978 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Satirical Nature Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

- Noelle Davidson Mrs. Wachell English 11 College Prep 25 January 2016 The Satirical Nature in Huckleberry Finn Ever since literature has existed, there has been some arrays of mockery. Whether it be a criticism about a person, an action, or the way people live, there has especially been satire. In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, encounters plenty of people and situations that are easy targets to ridicule. Throughout the text, Mark Twain satirizes religious views, hypocrisy, and romantic ideals to expose the real human flaws in southern society....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Satire]

Research Papers
1050 words (3 pages)

Essay Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

- Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain's classic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, tells the story of a teenaged misfit who finds himself floating on a raft down the Mississippi River with an escaping slave, Jim....   [tags: Huck Finn Twain]

Research Papers
1729 words (4.9 pages)

Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essays

- Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn In his tale, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) introduces the reader to an unsupervised fourteen year old boy who doesn’t agree with the rules and beliefs of the white society in which he finds himself. Huck teams up with Jim, a run away slave and the two begin a journey down the Mississippi River. Huck’s adventures with Jim, serve not only to entertain Huck, but also provide him with opportunities to develop his moral character....   [tags: Twain Adventures Huck Finn]

Free Essays
1127 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Religion in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

- Religion in Huckleberry Finn Religion is one of the most constant targets of Twain's satirical pen. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain portrays contemporary religion as shallow and hypocritical. He criticizes the hypocrisy of conventional religion by comparing it with the true religion of Huck. Most of the characters in Huckleberry Finn, while ostensibly devout Christians, in reality behave in anything but a Christian way. Some use religion as a tool to obtain wealth. The king, who twice poses as a preacher, is the epitome of the greedy evangelist....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Research Papers
619 words (1.8 pages)

Related Searches



 

When the author illustrates a comical event in the novel, sometimes there is a hidden message craving to be let out. He dressed Jim up in...a long curtain-calico gown, a white horsehair wig and whiskers; and...painted Jim's face and hands and ears and neck all over a dead, dull solid blue. The thieves, the king and duke, make a new disguise for Jim so nobody will see him as a slave and they wrote out a sign that read Sick Arab- but harmless when not out of his head. Jim had to fetch a howl or two like a wild beast to be kept alone. Twain put this in to show how the Christian church felt about people from a different country and religion, while preaching tolerance. Another incident showing the hypocrisy in a similar way is when Tom persists Jim to play a jew's harp to attract rats, and the snakes, and spiders. And they'll just fairly swarm over you, and have a noble good time. The audience can infer and symbolize that the Christian church preaches that snakes, the devil, will engulf anyone who tries to play the jew's harp, are Jewish.

 

The faithfulness of the church followers is questioned with the family feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons. On a Sunday morning, the two families attend a church sermon carrying guns. It was pretty ornery preaching- all about brotherly love, and such-like tiresomeness; but everybody said it was a good sermon... and had such a powerful lot to say about faith. The two families prove to be all talk and no action because the "brotherly love" results in the death of the whole Grangerford clan by the Shepherdsons. This incident puts into question the thought of how people really live the gospel principals they are taught.

 

Mark Twain, in the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, brings to surface the religious hypocrisy in American culture. Satirically, the author questions the religious practices, traditions, and how followers bring the gospel into their homes. Religion should play a pivotal role in your life, but when finding the right one, you need to evaluate the positive as well as the negative teachings and make a decision based on them.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com