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Mark Twain's satire
Transcript of Mark Twain's satire
Stories: Huckleberry Finn, Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy
Common Themes: Nature vs. Nurture, direct criticism (Church/tradition), rights of the individual
Life and Views
Born 1835 Missouri slave state
Age 10 witnessed slave death
Joined confederacy 1861, served several weeks
Married into abolitionist family of Olivia Langdon
Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy
The essay argues that it is "disgraceful" to punish a boy for stoning a "chinaman" because everything about his society has led him to believe that it is right to do so.
Inner conflict in Huck Finn extremely similar to mark Twain's own conflict growing up
Uses Huck Finn to show flaws in society that he grew up in
“What had the child's education been? How should he suppose
it was wrong to stone a Chinaman?” (Page 1).[Nature vs. Nurture]
“Ah, there goes a Chinaman! God will not love me if I do not stone him.” (Page 1). [Direct criticism of Church]
" The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is-a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it is beneath pitifulness" (Page 148). [rights of the individual]
"The men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall. The Shepherdsons done the same. It was prety ornery preaching-all about brotherly love, and such-like tiresomeness"(page 110). [Direct criticism of Church/tradition]
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.
What is Satire?
Twain, Mark. The adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Jacksonville, Ill.: Perma-Bound, 1988. Print.
Powers, L.S. "Power-Twain Talks." : "Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy" and "The Sandwich Islands". N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2014. <http://power-twain-talks.blogspot.com/2010/03/disgraceful-persecution-of-boy-and.html>.
"The Official Web Site of Mark Twain." The Official Web Site of Mark Twain. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Jan. 2014. <http://www.cmgww.com/historic/twain/ab
"The War Prayer." , by Mark Twain. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2014. <http://warprayer.org/>.
Twain, Mark, and John Groth. The war prayer. New York: Published in association with Harper & Row, 19681923. Print.