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Essay On Twain's Comment On Society In "Huckleberry Finn", By Mark Twain

786 words - 3 pages

Throughout the novel Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, the author points out the injustices and hypocrisy of society and mirrors his views on society with those of Huck. As the reader follows Huck, a young southern boy making an escape from his abusive drunkard of a father, alongside Jim, a runaway slave, he/she views Huck's moral development as he transcends common public opinion of African Americans at the time, part of Twain's comment on society. Twain shows the hypocritical ways of civilized society through the actions of those surrounding Huck and then goes on to display his feelings about society through the actions of Huck. All of this culminates in the antagonist's final decision to reject society and "sivilized" ways and move out west.The first blow to society that Twain delivers comes early in the book in the form of a court decision. Disregarding what would be in the best interest of the child, the new judge in town grants Pap full rights to his child. To the reader, this is an absurd decision as it is clear that Pap is only interested in Huck because he believes that Huck has money. Twain also delivers an underlying message in this decision though. To a reader at the time of this novels publication (30 years after the civil war) the moral wrongdoing of granting custody of one man to another would have been overlooked, but in mirroring this situation and granting rights to the immoral Pap over the lovable Huck, Twain forces the reader to look at the meaning of slavery from a more humane standpoint. Twain uses the readers sentiment, as he/she knows what Huck will be forced to endure under Pap's control, to create a sentiment for the troubles of the slaves under the slave-owners.The next slap in society's face comes much later in the novel when Huck witnesses the shooting of a drunkard for merely shouting insults and the wrong man, Sherburn. A mob then sets out to avenge this cold-blooded murder, but when it arrives at Sherburn's house, he delivers a speech about the cowardice of mobs and the human race in general and the crowd subsides. Although Sherburn's speech clearly reflects Twain's view on mob mentality, Twain's outburst at society is...

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