From chapters 17 and 26, how does the settings described in the novel contribute to Twain's characterization of America and contribute to the overall plot of the story?
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These chapters focus on social commentary of the people and places along the Southern Mississippi. Each chapter introduces new characters and adventures that highlight particular prejudices or follies. Huck is also forced to play different roles as he tries to assimilate himself into each new situation....Twain offers social commentary in three separate escapades in the novel. First, two slave-hunters approach Huck's raft and Huck makes them believe his smallpox ridden family is aboard. Desperate to avoid the plague, each man forks over $20 just to keep the raft away from town. While disease is a valid concern, Twain demonstrates the fear with which people treat other sick people who need assistance and support. Rather than offering to help, the two men try to buy off the family and send them elsewhere....Second, the Grangerford and Shepherdson families participate in a violent, tragic feud. Here, Twain demonstrates the utter stupidity of even the most educated and respected families, who can destroy themselves through nonsensical behavior and excessive pride.The last escapade in occurs when the King bilks an entire congregation out of money. His story about being a pirate and wishing to convert his brethren is laughable and silly, but at the revival meeting, everyone is so overcome by the love of God and their fellow man that they believe him and donate to his cause. In terms of plot, Huck consistently assumes different characters and roles in order to survive and to protect Jim. THere is always a sense of nastiness underneath the culture of many of the people they meet. There is also a sense of innocence and perhaps ignorance as well. Huck is able to navigate these waters while giving light to the American South during that time.