The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Three Blind Vices: The Revelatory Social Satire of "Huckleberry Finn" 10th Grade

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain satirizes the disagreeable actions of the people encountered by Huck on his adventures in order to accentuate the hypocrisy exhibited in these actions. Such actions, unfortunately, are commonplace in society. Already one of Twain's staple techniques, satire is defined as “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues” (“satire”). He pokes fun at the hypocrisy of parents not abiding by the prohibitions they give to their kids. He mocks the situation of churchgoing folk being fickle in following the pillars of their creed. The more serious vice of society going on at the time was the action of separating members of slave families in the interest of slave trading that was permitted by the government. Twain satirizes these grotesque aspects of society that society itself was too blind to see through the characters that Huck meets on his journey.

Towards the beginning of the book, when Twain introduces the readers to Huck and his life, Huck brings up smoking to his guardian, Widow Douglass. The Widow shoots the notion down swiftly, however continues...

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