In Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain develops the plot intoHuck and Jim's adventures allowing him to weave in his criticism of society. The two maincharacters, Huck and Jim, both run from social injustice and both are distrustful of the civilizationaround them. Huck is considered an uneducated backwards boy, constantly under pressure toconform to the "humanized" surroundings of society.
Jim a slave, is not even considered as a realperson, but as property. As they run from civilization and are on the river, they ponder the socialinjustices forced upon them when they are on land. These social injustices are even more evident when Huck and Jim have to make landfall, and thisprovides Twain with the chance to satirize the socially correct injustices that Huck and Jimencounter on land.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
The satire that Twain uses to expose the hypocrisy, racism, greed and injusticeof society develops along with the adventures that Huck and Jim have. The ugly reflection ofsociety we see should make us question the world we live in, and only the journey down the riverprovides us with that chance.Throughout the book we see the hypocrisy of society.
The first character we come across withthat trait is Miss Watson. Miss Watson constantly corrects Huck for his unacceptable behavior,but Huck doesn't understand why, "That is just the way with some people. They get down on athing when they don't know nothing about it" (2). Later when Miss Watson tries to teach Huckabout Heaven, he decides against trying to go there, "…
she was going to live so as to go the goodplace. Well, I couldn't see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind Iwouldn't try for it." (3) The comments made by Huck clearly show Miss Watson as a hypocrite,scolding Huck for wanting to smoke and then using snuff herself and firmly believing that shewould be in heaven.
When Huck encounters the Grangerfords and Shepardsons, Huck describes Colonel Grangerfordas, "…a gentleman, you see. He was a gentleman all over; and so was his family. He was wellborn, as the saying is, and that's worth as much in a man as it is in a horse…
" (104). You canalmost hear the sarcasm from Twain in Huck's description of Colonel Grangerford. Later Huck isbecoming aware of the hypocrisy of the family and its feud with the Shepardsons when Huckattends church.
He is amazed that while the minister preaches about brotherly love both theGrangerfords and Shepardsons are carrying weapons. Finally when the feud erupts into agunfight, Huck sits in a tree, disgusted by the waste and cruelty of the feud, "It made me so sick Imost fell out of the tree…I wished I hadn't ever come ashore that night to see such things." Nowhere else is Twain's voice heard more clearly than as a mob gathers at the house of ColonelSherburn to lynch him.
Here we hear the full force of Twain's thoughts on the hypocrisy ancowardice of society, "The idea of you lynching anybody! It's amusing. The idea of you thinkingyou had pluck enough to lynch a man!…
The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is- amob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed fromtheir mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it is beneathpitifulness" (146-147). Each of these examples finds Huck again running to freedom of the river.The.