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What is Mark Twain satirizing in the scene in chapter 17 where Huck describes the...

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twinky1194 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM via web

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What is Mark Twain satirizing in the scene in chapter 17 where Huck describes the interior of the grangerfolds' house?Explain.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 5, 2012 at 12:15 PM (Answer #1)

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Twain is satirizing Huck's evaluation of the Grangerford house as being "a mighty nice house, too. I hadn't seen no house out in the country before that was so nice and had so much style."

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is set in the pre-Civil War years, a period of time when a widely adopted style of construction and furnishing of homes was called the Victorian style in honor of England's Queen Victoria, who reigned 1837-1901. "The Victorian era is...widely viewed as having indulged in a regrettable excess of ornament." The Grangerfords, as wealthy landowners, could afford the best that was available when they built and furnished their home, so it is very Victorian in construction and furnishings.

When Huck describes in great detail the hardware, the fixtures, the furniture, the decorations, the wall hangings, and many other features of the Grangerford's mansion, Twain is making fun of the over-done ornamentation and decoration of every available space. Twain is also making fun of Huck's evaluation of the Grangerford home as being "mighty nice" - Twain didn't appreciate the pretensions of the well-to-do.

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