Examples Of Satire In Huckleberry Finn

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Drew Christensen Hour 0 “Honest, perceptive, and fair-minded, a loving father, and loyal friend.” are the words of Barbara Apstein, PhD and professor at Bridgewater University, describing none other than “nigger-Jim.” She goes on to say that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, is actually an anti-slavery and anti-racist book. She concluded this after observing a debate on Huck Finn by Bridgewater University students. Indeed, Huck Finn is an anti-racist book, and should be taught in schools. Firstly, it portrays Jim, a black slave, as an honorable man, arguably the only honorable man in the entire book. Secondly it compels students to think critically about the characters and ideas. Thirdly, it is a great tool…show more content…
A literary tool that was revolutionized and mastered by Mark Twain. He used it prolifically in the writing of Huck Finn, and as such is a great tool for teachers to explain satire. Huck Finn is actually one massive compilation of satire because it pokes fun at the institution of slavery throughout and portrays all white southerners as “drunkards, murderers, bullies, swindlers, lynchers, thieves, liars, frauds, child abusers, numskulls, hypocrites, windbags and traders in human flesh,” as Russell Baker, writer for the New York Times once wrote. Twain also used irony in his writing. One of the greatest examples of irony ever is the “crisis of conscience” scene, when Huck decides to “do the right thing” by social standards of the time period, and write to Miss Watson to reclaim her “property” Jim. Then Huck remembers Jim's generosity and concludes that he should not send the letter. Ripping up the note he declares, “All right then, I'll go to hell.” With it, he rips the racist teachings of his childhood out from his conscience. At that very moment Huck has convinced himself that he has done the completely wrong thing by social standards, the reader knows that he has actually done the right thing and that Huck's good impulses have prevailed. This scene is the perfect example of dramatic irony because the reader has an all-knowing perspective of the situation while the main character( Huck) struggles with a problem that we already know the answer to. Trilling observes,…show more content…
All are white. The one man of honor in this phantasmagoria is 'Nigger Jim' as Twain called him to emphasize the irony of a society in which the only true gentleman was held beneath contempt.”-Russell Baker of the New York Times, 1982. This quote emphasizes the greatness of this book as an anti-racist and anti-slavery book. Anyone that thinks that Huck Finn or Twain are racist needs only to read this quote and their beliefs will immediately change because they will realize the context in which Twain was writing, and the point he was trying to emphasize; slavery and racism are horrible. They will only be able to do this if they think for themselves and challenge themselves to be open to new ideas. Twain did not only want to change racist beliefs, he also wanted to educate people and let them make their own insights. He understood that for our country to advance we must question and challenge our beliefs. Then, and only then are country will move forward to a better
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