Grangerford And Shepherdsons Satire Essay

Is Huck Finn an Effective Piece of Satire

Get Your
Essay Written

Starting at Just $13.90 a page

Sam Embree Block 3 “Is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn an effective piece of satire? ” The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain follows the story of a young white boy, Huckleberry Finn, as he travels down the Mississippi River. Twain uses the experiences of Huck as he travels down the river to comment on society. His opinions of many topics are given by satirizing other characters or events. An element this satire that twain uses is the depiction of the characters in a humorous manner.

Throughout the novel the use of this satire is clear and express Twain’s opinions on American culture in the antebellum period. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an effective piece of satire on American culture during the 1800s. Twain satirizes feuding, Pseudo-intellectualism and Greed in his story. During one of the adventures of Huck, he learns what a feud is, Twain uses this experience to ridicule the idea of a feud. He chooses two families’, the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons, to depict this feud. The Grangerfords seem to be very high class by having an elegant house and servants for all the family members.

Huck observes, “It didn’t have an iron latch on the front door, nor a wooden one with a buckskin string, but a brass knob to turn, the same as houses in town…There was a big fireplace that was bricked on the bottom, and the bricks was kept clean and red … same as they do in town. ” It is clear that the Grangerfords have a very nice house that is comparable to those in town. However, as the story progresses it is revealed they have an ongoing feud, which involves senseless deaths and manslaughter in their concept of honor.

The feud the Grangefords have with the Sheperdsons has gone on so long that they don’t even know why it started. Their story suggests such a feud is crazy and against common sense. Buck Grangerford defines a feud as when “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. ” The feud between the families has no oint besides their honor, and will not end until one family wipes out the other to regain their honor. In another instance Twain satirize feuding at the church. As Mr. Grangerford preaches a sermon, Huck observes, “It was pretty ornery preaching—all about brotherly love”. The fact that the sermon he makes is about brotherly love is very ironic because even though he preaches about brotherly love he’s still apart of a feud that has no point to it. Huck, as the naive narrator makes an observation that highlights the satire of feuding

Another aspect of America that is mocked in the novel is pseudo-intellectualism. A pseudo-intellectual is a person of average intelligence who knows some parts of a higher education and uses this knowledge to impress others. Twain uses the Duke and the Dauphin to exaggerate how some people try to show off their intelligence to others, but in reality they themselves aren’t that smart. Twain also expects that the readers of his novel are well read enough themselves, or they would not understand some of this satire. For example, at one point the Dauphin attempts to recite the soliloquy of Hamlet.

However, The Dauphin himself does not know the soliloquy very well and includes phrases from other Shakespearean plays. His soliloquy begins “To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin That makes calamity of so long life… There’s the respect must give us pause: Wake Duncan with thy knocking! ” This entire soliloquy mocks those who try to show off their intelligence. Twain also satirizes the respect pseudo-intellectuals get from those of lower education by the reactions of awe by Huck and Jim. In another instance the Dauphin speaks to a crowd about a funeral service.

However, while trying to sound intelligent instead of saying obsequies he says, “…he respected everybody, he liked everybody, and so it’s fitten that his funeral orgies sh’d be public. ” Twain includes this piece of humor to satirize pseudo-intellectuals. As Huck observes the actions of the Duke and the Dauphin he calls attention to the satire of pseudo-intellectuals. Finally, Mark Twain satirizes the greed of people in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The actions of Pap suggest greed is stronger than morals and ethics in some men. This is clear when Pap, a man who deserted his son, omes back to Huck and says, “I’ve been in town two days, and I hain’t heard nothing but about you bein’ rich. I heard about it away down the river, too. That’s why I come. You git me that money-tomorrow-I want it,” It is clear that after he got the money Pap would just spend it on alcohol as he usually did. Pap shows that greed drives people to do whatever they can to get money. Twain doesn’t just apply the trait of greed to Pap, but also to the Duke and the Dauphin. These conmen go to great lengths to deceive others to obtain money. In one of their schemes they assume the identities of a recently deceased man.

Driven by their greed they plan to sell all the man’s property and run away. The Dauphin says, “What! And not sell out the rest o’ the property? March off like a passel of fools and leave eight or nine thous’n’ dollars’ worth o’ property layin’ around jest sufferin’ to be scooped in? ” This scene reveals that the conmen have no respect for others and only have themselves in mind. Through the eyes of Huck, Twain tries to show that greed is an immoral aspect present in America during the 19th century and that those who are greedy take advantage of the innocent.

Do you like
this material?Get help to write a similar one

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain effectively ridicules aspects of American society of the late 19th century and human nature. In his novel Twain satirizes feuding, pseudo-intellectuals, and greed. Twain shows he has much distaste in each of these aspects by ridiculing them through the eyes of the naive narrator that is Huckleberry Finn. He shows that feuds are against common sense, pseudo-intellectuals do not deserve the respect they receive, and greed causes people to hurt the innocent.

Is Huck Finn an Effective Piece of Satire

We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!

How fast would you like to get it?

sathf Satire of The Grangerfords and Pap

  • Length: 748 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
Satire of The Grangerfords and Pap


In Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Grangerfords and Pap are two of the characters who are used by Twain to condemn civilized society. Twain employs satire to express his belief that “civilized” society is neither moral, ethical, nor civilized.  Exaggeration, stereotyping, and irony are used throughout the story to satirize and to expose the Grangerfords as the typical southern aristocrats and pap as the typical drunken “white trash.”

            After a ferryboat accident, Huck seems to lose his slave companion Jim after coming ashore. Huck then is introduced to Buck Grangerford (about the same age as Huck) and is allowed to stay in the Grangerford household. The Grangerford family consists of Buck, who is a young adventurous boy, Emmiline, a fourteen-year-old who was dead girl, Bob, Tom, Miss Charlotte, and Miss Sophia. The Grangerfords showed all the signs of being upper class by having an extremely nice house, acting properly, and each member of the family had their own servant. Eventually it becomes apparent to Huck that the Grangerfords are feuding with a neighboring household, the Sheperdsons; this seems to be the central angle Twain uses to satire.

            The chapters dealing with the Grangerford and Sheperdson feud allow Twain to satire aspects of civilized culture. The main aspect he satirizes is the feud itself. The Grangerfords being the representatives of civilization, Twain reveals the senseless brutality and needless slaughter involved in their arbitrary concept of honor. For Twain, such a feud goes against his common sense and anything that violated his common sense was crazy. The feud has gone on so long hat the people don’t even know why they are fighting; yet, embedded in the feud are artificial concepts of civilized behavior. For Example, Mr. Grangerford tells Buck that he shouldn’t shoot from behind the bush but he should step out into the road to kill a Sheperdson. Also there is a sense of irony because why would such a civilized family be in a feud that they can’t remember the origin of. Another aspect of it is the Grangeford’s use of hypocrisy. The Grangerfords were “church goers” and in one sermon given by Mr. Grangerford he speaks of brotherly love, this while feuding with a family for a reason they don’t even remember.

            Pap, or Huck’s father, is an excellent example of Twain’s stereotyping, superior characterizations, and his irony.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"sathf Satire of The Grangerfords and Pap." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Mar 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=5838>.

LengthColor Rating 
Essay on How Often Should I Get a Pap Test? - Cancer of the cervix (cervical cancer) affects many women in their reproductive years. It is estimated that in the US, about 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer will occur annually and about 4,000 women will die from the disease. Although the rate of deaths from the disease has fallen in the past decades in the US, it is still one of the leading causes of deaths in women in middle- and low-income countries. This type of malignancy is often related to HPV (human papilloma virus) infection and both conditions often occur without symptoms....   [tags: pap smear, cervical cancer, screening]
:: 2 Works Cited
871 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
sathf Satire in Adventures of Huck Finn Essay - Satire in Adventures of Huck Finn The dominant tone of this work is satire. Twain pokes fun at many of the aspects of Southern life in the 19th century (including slavery and feuds), and several characters as well. His fiery attitude about the ills of society shows itself from the first page of this book. I think that one of the main themes in this novel is the conflict between the society's "good" and "bad". Huck believed that a person was "good" if they were educated, well read, religiously trained, and had the ability to follow rules....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]680 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
The Daily Show and The Colbert Report: Political Satire Essay example - As increasing economic inequality takes center stage in the American political theater, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have not missed a single beat. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report utilize a unique synthesis of current issues and satire to provide informative and utterly hilarious programs. Unlike mainstream and established American media outlets, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report comically seek to expose the hypocrisy in media and politics, educating the public to see a different perspective- behind the curtain, if you will....   [tags: satire, poverty, economic inequality]
:: 3 Works Cited
1426 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Essay Satire in Jonathan Swift´s Gulliver's Travels - In the early eighteenth-century, Irish writer Jonathan Swift produced one of the most printed novels known to date. The novel, Gulliver’s Travels, not only received recognition for being reprinted an immense amount of time, but also for the satire found within the novel. Swift intended his novel to be used as a scapegoat in which he would reveal his opinion on the English society. Swift was able to demonstrate this satire through the four part plot of Gulliver’s Travels. Each part of the novel told the journey of the protagonist and focal character, Lemuel Gulliver, to an unknown island....   [tags: scapegoat, journey, humanity, satire]1955 words
(5.6 pages)
Term Papers[preview]
Essay Satire In Swift And Pope - The Issue of Bad Writing in Swift and Pope The eighteenth century witnessed a major revolution, in some ways more profound than the Civil War, the Printing Trade. It was a state of anarchy within which struggling writers, who came from the lower strata, were writing in journals, newspapers, magazines etc. Great consumption of these kinds of writings led to the formation of the Grub Street (a London Street inhabited by literary hacks such as writers of small histories, dictionaries and temporary poems....   [tags: Authors Writers Satire Satirical ]1614 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Juvenalian And Horatian Satire Essay - Juvenalian and Horatian Satire "Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it." Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Anglo-Irish satirist. The Battle of the Books, Preface (written 1697; published 1704). Satire is known as the literary style which makes light of a subject, diminishing its importance by placing it in an amusing or scornful light....   [tags: Satire Comedy LIterary Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1002 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay on Satire Of Huck Finn - Samuel L. Clemans, whose pen name is Mark Twain was one of American’s greatest writers who was known around the world for his works like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He is recognized as many to be one of the greatest American writers. I just finished one of his books The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which I felt was a very moving book . The book is about a young boy (Huck Finn) whose father is and old drunken alcoholic. Twain satires alcoholism, which is mentioned through out this novel. When pap who constantly drinks and is violent with Huck, came home drunk and “ He cased me with a clasp knife and says he would kill me ”{mark 29)....   [tags: essays research papers]1015 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay Satire - What is all around us. What is used every day. What makes some laugh. What is the answer to these questions. The answer is satire. Satire is a form of criticism that can be used in many ways and in many different situations. Sometimes satire is easy to spot, other times it may be incognito. Satire is commonly found in literary works, movies, cartoons, and even some news casts. The formal definition of satire is the use of humor to expose human follies. (Dictionary.com). Satire is mostly written because a certain issue bothered the author....   [tags: Literature]
:: 3 Works Cited
1190 words
(3.4 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Satire Essay example - Satire is a great tool used by many writers and actors since ancient times. The earliest example that we know about is a script from 2nd millennium BC in Ancient Egypt (Definition: Satire) and since then has evolved into a great part of our society. Satire is used to point out the faults of human vice in order for change and reform in either of two ways. There is a very bitter Juvenalian or a mild and light Horatian. In order to fully understand these forms of satire, method, purpose, and applications will be addressed....   [tags: Literature]
:: 8 Works Cited
1450 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Satire Essay - Satire is a literary work in which the follies of its subject are attacked through irony, derision, or wit, usually to fulfill a corrective purpose. Those who satirize are called satirists. Satire is an art, and while making a point, it should do it in such a way that the reader doesn’t feel assaulted, or moralized. No one likes a moralizer. Satire’s more eye opening than judgmental, and is conveyed through distortion, exaggeration (as well as understatement), paronomasia, ambiguity and innuendo, comparison and zeugma, similes and metaphors, oxymorons, and parables and allegories....   [tags: Literature Analysis, Art, Informative]321 words
(0.9 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]

Related Searches

Satire         Upper Class         Civilized Society         Common Sense         Representatives         Trash         Drunken         Companion         Shoot         Artificial        




Pap comes into the story when Huck feels that something is wrong but it is confirmed by Jim’s hairball. Twain stereotypes Pap as the typical drunken and abusive “white trash.” Pap wants Huck to stop trying to get a better education, stop getting better clothes, and to stop trying to be better than his father. The irony is that Pap is supposed to be mature and civilized, yet he does not want Huck to better himself.  Pap represents the brutality and severity of civilization, which threatens to destroy Huck. Pap eventually kidnaps his own son forcing Huck to create an elaborate escape plan which included faking his own demise. Ironically, the same civilized folk who are not overly concerned over Huck’s suffering at the hands of Pap are very curious and excited about locating his dead body.

            Twain effectively utilized satire to condemn the pre civil-war society of the south. Twain used techniques of hypocrisy, irony, exaggeration, and stereotyping to further his satirization and provided clear examples of it as well. The Gangerfords and Pap were portrayed as some of the worst society had to offer and provided part of the motivation for Huck to seek asylum on the river.

1.      Underline titles of novels.

2.      Your second paragraph is a plot summary and is not needed in your paper.  Instead of writing a plot summary, try using direct quotes.  Quotes give specific examples for your argument while at the same time they are short and to-the-point.  Plot summaries often include information that is not important for the content of your paper.

3.      For better organization stick to the format of your thesis statement. Exaggeration, stereotyping, and irony are used throughout the story to satirize and to expose the Grangerfords as the typical southern aristocrats and pap as the typical drunken “white trash.”  From your thesis statement, your readers would expect to see one paragraph for the Grangerfords and then one paragraph for pap.  Each paragraph would discuss exaggeration, stereotyping, and irony, in that order.  That way you have exhausted your topic thoroughly and in an organized manner.



0 Thoughts to “Grangerford And Shepherdsons Satire Essay

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *