In Tom Sawyer’s irrational influence upon Huck.
In attempt to convince Jim to join Huck in landing on the steamboat in which the robbers are on, Huck is portrayed to emulate the mindset of Tom Sawyer. Twain critiques the idea of romanticism by exposing Tom Sawyer’s irrational influence upon Huck. In means to find treasure and loot, Huck ironically puts both Jim and himself in danger due to the robbers who are present. Furthermore, after Huck is aware of the danger, his Tom Sawyer instinct insists him to explore his curiosity and stay on the boat without Jim. With the use of situational irony, Twain exposes Huck for allowing Tom Sawyer’s nature to influence his actions.
As Huck questions “wouldn’t Tom Sawyer throw style into it” Twain sheds to light in how immersed Huck is in following this Tom Sawyer persona and how it can ultimately lead to dangerous situations in which he would never be in. Logically, Huck would have gone back with Jim on the raft in escape of the robbers. However, Huck forces Tom’s mindset upon his own, so he blindly assigns his own self to this dangerous adventure-seeking behavior. Twain seems to poke fun at Huck’s mentality as Huck alters the definition of adventure and style to complete danger. Huck is clearly drawn towards the romantic idea of adventure but becomes too blind from his Tom Sawyer mentality that Twain criticizes. As Huck continues with his perpetuous lies, he initially thought it would be humorous to fool Jim in believing that their entire separation was a dream.
However, Jim’s heartbreaking reaction enables Huck to realize the extent to which Jim suffers in the world and that it was a mistake in playing upon his emotions. Criticizing how naive people in the 19th century were, Twain exposes the people who viewed slaves as nothing but property without feelings. Huck’s initial struggle in apologizing for his actions is seen to be nearly humorous; Twain covertly scoffs at the social norms at the time for influencing Huck to view Jim as inferior due to his color. After the apology, Twain specifically emphasizes on Hucks sympathetic tone as he states that he wouldn’t have pulled a trick upon him if he knew “it would make him feel that way.
” This illustrates how Huck truly cares for Jim, allowing the audience to reciprocate the same feeling and idea that Jim should be portrayed as no less than an equal; he deserves to be treated with the same respect as any other individual. This specific moment in the book is significant for it marks the point in which Huck begins to treat Jim with utmost respect. Furthermore, both Jim and Huck’s time together through their adventure has created a seemingly father and son relationship that was to be shamed upon in the 19th century. Despite their race, Twain showcases the compassion that these two characters begin to share, criticizing the idea of racism and its corruption in society. Due to Huck’s poor persona of a female, he goes under the name of George Jackson as he is welcomed into the house of the Grangerfords. As Huck begins to explore the overly outdated, yet greatly detailed house of theirs, he learns about their deceased daughter Emmeline who had created poems and portraits focused on death. Here, Twain clearly critiques the overly sentimental work created by women during the time with the use of hyperboles and satire.
Due to Emmeline’s obsession over the idea of death, Huck jokes that “she was having a better time in the graveyard.” Nearly comical, Twain states that Emmeline would enjoy her life in death rather than if she was still alive. As Twain exaggerates Emmeline’s romanticized work, he utilizes hyperbole to satirize the idea of women and their exhaustingly repetitive work of romantic writing. During the 19th century, women’s poetry would excessively equate death and gloomy/dark tones.
As Emmeline’s work illustrates similar themes, she fulfills the social norms as a woman during the time. Ultimately, Twain showcases Emmelines work more as exaggerated rather than sincere to demonstrate his critical view. Once the deceiving “king” decides to join a temperance revival, he manages to make profit upon the crowds naivety by acting as if he was a former pirate changing his ways to become a missionary. Twain critiques the ignorance of the religious people by illustrating how easy it is for them to believe such an overly exaggerated story. The kings use of false anecdote with undertones of greed, allows the readers to ridicule the crowd for being so blind and gullible.
This fraud becomes even more humorous when Huck indicates that “everybody said ‘let him pass the hat around!,’ the preacher too.” It is ironic for someone as wise as a preacher to be foolish enough to agree with his crowd; someone so high in rank should be able to identify the such sinful intentions. As the king exploits the worshippers of their money, Twain exploits them of being so immersed in their faith that they fail to recognize the truth before them. Overall, Twain showcases how easily it is for a group of religious individuals, even a preacher who stands in high rank, to be fooled by such a hoax.When Sherburn, a man who had shot a drunk for a simple insult, returns home with a mob in means to lynch him, he begins to deliver a scolding speech in exploiting them of their cowardness, leaving them completely speechless. Twain criticizes the idea of mob mentality by labeling the mob as cowards who act as if they are powerful.
With the appeals to logos, Sherburn brings to attention that the citizens had only tried to take justice after the murder because they had no courage and fear in trying to stop the incident from occurring. This is what Twain attempts to satirize; when humanity finds an opportunity to grasp upon justice, they only do so if they know there would be no possibility of harm. Through explicit imagery, Sherburn states “you didn’t bring a man with you . . .
and you didn’t come in the dark and fetch your masks.” As Sherburn exposes of the townspeople who try to receive justice of the victim, it is because they have no courage to act upon the situation alone; they come as a mob to hide their true identity, like masks in the dark. Critiquing the mindset of mob mentality, Twain reassures the audience that rather than acting upon the influence of others, they should act out upon the purpose for themselves.