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Huck Finn Satire Seminar

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Ali Squelati

on 16 November 2012

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Transcript of Huck Finn Satire Seminar

Satire in Huck Finn Ali Squellati and Helene Estes What does satire mean? "the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to criticize faults" (Satire). What are some areas
of satire in the novel? Racism
Religious Hypocrisy/
Superstition Why wouldn't Twain just talk about these issues straightforwardly? Racism Romanticism Religious Hypocrisy/Superstition What is racism? Why would Twain decide to present racism in a satirical manner? p.220-221 "We blowed out a cylinder-head."
"Good gracious! Anybody hurt?"
"No'm. Killed a nigger"
"Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt" (Twain 220-221) What does this quote say about the way society perceives blacks? p. 177 "... and do you reckon a nigger can run across money and not borrow some of it?" (Twain 177). Why is this quote considered satirical? p. 239 "Jim's a nigger and wouldn't understand the reasons for it, and how it's the custom in Europe" (Twain 239). What idea does Twain imply here? Why is that satirical? p. 85 "Dat truck dah is trash; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren's en makes' en ashamed" (Twain 85). What scene does this quote come from? What does Huck realize during this scene and how is it satirical? p. 260 "So he raised up his bed and slid the chain off of the bed-leg... and we crawled out through our hole and down there, and Jim and me laid into that grindstone and walked her along like nothing..." "Then we helped fix his back on the bed-leg and was ready for bed ourselves" (Twain 260). Explain Tom's treatment of Jim in this quote. Note: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a romantic book. Twain's focus of satire however, is not as an overall work, but on characters who exemplify (or don't) romantic qualities. Who are three different people/groups who Twain uses to satirize Romantic characteristics? Tom Sawyer What actions show that Tom Sawyer has romantic qualities? p. 8 "Ransomed? What's that?"
"I don't know. But that's what they do. I've seen it in books; and so of course that's what we've go to do" (Twain 8). How does Twain use Tom to satirize romantic characteristics? p. 9 "Do you want to go to doing different from what's in the books, and get things all muddled up?" (Twain 9). What romantic ideals are shown? Keeping these quotes in mind, what major event in Tom Sawyer's life drives home Twain's satirizing Romanticism? Shepherdsons/Grangerfords What is going on between these two families? In what ways does this feud have romantic characteristics? p. 107 "A feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man's brother kills him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in - and by and by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. But it's kind of slow, and takes a long time" (Twain 107). How is this satiric? "It started thirty years ago, or som'ers along there. There was trouble 'bout something, and then a lawsuit to settle it; and the suit went agin one of the men, and so he up and shot the man that won the suit - which he would naturally do, of course. Anybody would" (Twain 107-108) How is this ironic for the present generation fighting this feud? Eventually, the whole feud is satirized as what happens? How could you compare this feud to racism at this time? Emmeline Grangerford Who is she? How does she show Romantic qualities? p. 102 "This young girl kept a scrap-book when she was alive, and used to paste obituaries and accidents and cases of patient suffering in it" (Twain 102). Do you see any red romantic flags? What is ironic about Emmeline's life? What are examples of religious hypocrisy in the novel? Miss Watson How does she exhibit religious hypocrisy? p. 10 "She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get" (Twain 10). How is religious hypocrisy shown by this quote? p. 2 "Then she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I was there" (Twain 2). How is this ironic? p.3 "She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever" (Twain 3). How does Miss Watson seem to portray the church to Huck? Grangerfords/Shepherdsons How do they exhibit religious hypocrisy? "Next Sunday we all went to church, about three mile, everybody a-horseback. Them men took their guns along.. . and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall" (Twain 109). p. 109 How does Twain use satire? "It was pretty onery preaching - all about brotherly love ... everybody said it was a good sermon, and they all talked it over going home" "[It] had such a powerful lot to say about faith ad good works and free grace" (Twain 109). What is satirical about the Grangerfords/Shepherdsons praising the sermon? King and Duke Who/what do they pretend to be? p. 131 "He told them he was a pirate ... and thanks to goodness he'd been robbed last night and put ashore off of a steamboat without a cent" (Twain 131). Who is "them"? How is this satiric? p. 132 "The King went all through the crowd ... blessing the people and praising them and thanking them for being so good to the poor pirates away off there" (Twain 132). Why does this quote show religious hypocrisy? Where is the money actually going? What is superstition? Why do you think that superstitions are important in the story and in Huck's personal journey? p. 3-4 "Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I slipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn't need anybody to tell me that that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every; and then I tied up a little lock of my heir to keep witches away" (Twain 3-4). p. 12 "I knowed might well that a drowned man didn't float on his back, but his face. So I knowed, then, that this warn't pap, but a woman dressed in man's clothes" (Twain 12). How does Huck use superstition in tense situations? p. 17 "Jim had a hairball as big as your fist, which had been took out of the fourth stomach of an ox, and he used to do magic with it. He said there was a spirit inside of that knowed everything. So I went to him that night ..." (Twain 17). What is Twain making fun of in this quote? p. 46 "Ef you's got a hairy arms en hairy breas', it's a sign you's agwyne be rich" (Twain 46). What does this show about Jim and his beliefs? p. 52 "Now you think it's bad luck; but what did you say when I fetched in the snake-skin that I found on the top of the ridge before yesterday? You said it was the worst bad luck in the world to touch a snake-skin with my hands" (Twain 52). What does this quote show about dependency?
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