Humor is a tool Mark Twain uses in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to satirize the evil in his society. Write a paper analyzing the satiric situations in the novel that suggest the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of society’s prevailing attitudes toward the institutions of religion, education, and slavery before the Civil War.
I. Thesis Statement: Mark Twain exposes the evil in his society by satirizing the institutions of religion, education, and slavery.
II. Twain satirizes religion
A. The Widow Douglas and Miss Watson
1. Miss Watson’s prayers are never answered
2. Widow Douglas tucks her head down to pray before meals
B. The Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons
1. The feuding families sit calmly in church together
2. The families have forgotten the reason for their feud
C. Huck’s decision not to turn Jim in as a runaway slave
1. Huck decides to “go to hell” rather than turn in his friend Jim
2. Huck struggles with his conscience over harboring a runaway slave
III. Twain satirizes education
A. Huck drops out of school
1. Twain uses Huck, an uneducated narrator, to criticize society’s corruption, including education
B. Tom Sawyer reads books, but his plans and schemes fail because they are impractical
C. Jim is a loving father-figure to Huck. He cannot read but is wise beyond book-learning
IV. Twain satirizes slavery
A. The slaves come in for prayers at night at the Widow Douglas’ house
B. Jim escapes from his owner
1. He has overheard her saying that she cannot resist selling Jim.
2. He would be sold down river where slaves were mistreated
C. Jim wants to go north to earn his freedom
1. To free his wife and children, Jim plans to buy them
D. Jim and Huck’s close relationship
1. On the raft, away from civilization, Jim and Huck are almost equals
V. Conclusion: The satire in this novel is a critical commentary on the hypocrisy in the institutions of religion, education, and slavery.
A List Of Powerful Argumentative Essay Topics About Huckleberry Finn
You want to prove your point of the issue when it comes to writing an argumentative essay. There are many interpretations of the novel Huckleberry Finn. Therefore, it is a great piece to use for practicing argumentative essays. You will need to decide on a topic that people have differing views on. These topics will be powerful for this type of paper.
- Huck’s maturation through the piece
- Effects that race relations had on the novel
- The hypocrisy of a society that is civilized
- Importance of Huck’s youth in the piece
- Telling a lie is sometimes a good thing
- What the folktales that Jim tells says about his character
- Significance of the Mississippi River
- Twain’s message regarding morality
When you have chosen your topic, read the piece or at least skim carefully through the piece to find evidence that will help to prove the side that you want to take on the issue. You can talk about whether or not Huck matured through the piece or whether or not it was a productive maturation. There are many ideas that you can use to write this paper.
The format for an argumentative essay will be similar to that of a five paragraph essay with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. It will however add an additional paragraph that is the rebuttal. It will discuss a specific opposing view and then specific information to refute it. You will have to make sure to add this section or you are not writing this paper properly and it will be more like a persuasive essay than an argumentative one. These are similar but not the same and your teacher may not accept it or dock you points for missing this huge piece of the paper.
Create an outline before you get too far into the writing process. It will help make sure that you are adding evidence in a logical manner that enhances rather than hinders your case. Be sure to include transitions to help with the paper’s flow and always edit it. When it comes to writing, it is so important that you follow the proper steps to ensure a great paper. If you skip just one, you will jeopardize the effectiveness of the entire piece and that will just be a waste of time and a bad grade.