Satire in Huck Finn
Irony, parody, exaggeration,
and reversal are all humor techniques that are included in satire.
The whole novel is a satire
Ch. 17-18 The episode with the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons is a prime example.
This entire episode satirizes southern “aristocratic” values. These wealthy families that seem “civilized and gentle” really aren’t. They are violent and hypocritical.
Irony Example: The families attend the same church and hear a sermon on “brotherly love.” Yet they have all brought guns to church. The families have feuded and killed each other for generations, yet no one can remember why.
Reversal: The families praise the bravery of others, but value courage over peace and life.
They value “honor” over logic and reason.
They are kind and accept Huck, a stranger into their family, yet hurt others from the rival family “for no reason.”
Exaggeration: The family feud is exaggerated. Most family fights don’t involve killing. The “trigger-happiness” and violence of the south is exaggerated.
Parody It parodies Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The son and daughter falling in love could bring the families together, instead they let it destroy them.
Satire: Overall satire is of Southern people and value, however it is also a comment on human nature. Huck, a young and innocent observer, is able to see the flaws and problems in the families, while the “civilized” adults can’t. People are often blind and believe or follow ridiculous ideas, without really thinking about why. Such as SLAVERY (food for thought).