The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Social Protest Displayed in Twain’s Novel

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In Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain uses his characters and events to protest religion, society, and slavery. Slavery plays a huge role in the novel, but Twain uses his novel to show the effects of slavery. Twain illustrates society on a lower level and shows examples of how gullible and idiotic society can be at times. Most of all Twain uses his novel to protest religion, specifically Christianity. The novel emanates signs of religious protest. Twain clearly shows a more distaste for religious people than he shows for the actual religion. During his adventure Huckleberry meets many religious people, or so they claim they are religious. Many of the people share one thing in common-hypocrisy. “Next Sunday we all went to church, about three mile, everybody a horseback. The men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall. The Shephersons done the same. It was pretty ornery preaching- all about brotherly love” (Twain 121). The feud between the Grangerfords and Shephersons illustrates this sense of hypocrisy immensely. To bring their guns to Church shows that they do not practice what they preach. The gospel message clearly states love thy neighbor. Both families, however, ignore the central theme of the gospel and do the opposite of what their religion says. They are literally killing their neighbor over a feud which contain no memorable cause. All this is hypocritical enough, but the families takes hypocrisy to the next level. They do this by taking their guns to Church. Their stubbornness to back down from a fight will not allow them to leave their guns at home while they listen to sermons on brotherly love. Beside the protest of Christians, Twain uses Huck’s adventures to illuminate the evils of society. Twain uses the duke and the dauphin to show the greed which some

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