What is Buck's response to Huck's as to how the feud started, and how does this relate to satire of the South in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us not be blind to the way in which Mark Twain is obviously poking fun at the South and their tendency to hold grudges for years, even when the initial reason for the feud is long forgotten. Huck's conversation with Buck in Chapter 18 is a hilarious satire on feuds and how ridiculous they truly are. Note how Buck describes a feud to the ignorant Huck:

...a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man's brother kill him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in--and by and by everbody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. But it's kind of slow, and takes a long time.

The rather nonchalant way in which Buck describes such a terrible process, only concluding to say that it is "kind of slow," indicates that Twain is satirising this aspect of Southern society. As if to emphasise this, note how Buck says that he has no idea of how the feud actually started. People are still killing each other and hate each other for some reason that is now long forgotten in the past.

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