Satire Essay

1480 words - 6 pages

Satire is often used to bring about a change in something that needs it, or point out a foible in something that affects everyone, or a particular group of people. Whatever the case, satire is an effective tool for persuasion and provoking action. Both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (HF) and Harrison Bergeron (HB) show satirical elements in everyday societies, but the impacts that these elements had on the societies were not always positive or ethical which showed that the purpose for these elements were not to show what to do, but to show what not to do by portraying the negative consequences of different topics of debate.The satirical elements in HF were mainly concerned with the morals and ethics of society and how one should approach them logically and thoughtfully. One of the major satirical topics in the novel was about slavery and its institution to the society at that time. One example of this is when Huck makes Jim lay down at the bottom of the canoe when they are floating down the river. This may seem strange, but it is to point out what the institution of slavery is doing to the black people of the time and is pushing for an abolitionist movement. It is this type of satire that makes Huck Finn one of the most provocative novels ever written because of the attention that it brings forth to the problems of the society at the time. Another concept that was satirically portrayed the emphasis on civilization and having good manners. This was shown at the beginning of the novel was Huck was taught to use good manners. This ended up making Huck even more rebellious and not wanting to be civilized. This shows the readers that more civilization and forced rules upon a society actually makes it more corrupt than it started as. Another topic that was mentioned was the gullibility of the people along the river as Huck and Jim made their trip. Huck and Jim saw many instances of when the townspeople were ready to believe whatever they were told. When Huck and Jim were united with the King and the Duke it was apparent that the townspeople were easily fooled when all of the men came to the Royal Nonesuch expecting to see things of a obscene nature, but then were met with a complete fraud of a show and realized that they were taken for fools. Twain probably puts this in to show people what they are like if the fall for a trick such as that put up by the King and the Duke. Twain therefore indirectly points out that people should think their actions through and be aware of certain risks in everyday living. This type of satire probably proved very useful because of the occurrence of robberies and number of thieves and bandits. This also shows that a story can influence certain statistics such as the crime rate or another rate similar to it, which is satire's most influential trait and which is why it is a very useful asset to bring about change to things that are bad in society. Lastly, HF shows how Huck viewed the public punishment as inhumane and...

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