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What are some examples of satire in chapters 12 and 13 of The Adventures of Huckleberry...

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jmdefelicenot... | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 5, 2011 at 9:21 AM via web

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What are some examples of satire in chapters 12 and 13 of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

Please give at least 2 examples.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 5, 2011 at 5:28 PM (Answer #1)

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While Huck and Jim commence their adventurous journey on the Mississippi River, the raft becomes a makeshift home as Jim forms a wigwam for them to get out of the elements, placing a fire box outside.  In the night, Huck slips ashore to buy some meal and bacon; sometimes he "lifts" a chicken, rationalizing that Pa always said to take one

when you get a chance because if you don't want him yourself you can easy find somebody who does, and a good deed ain't ever forgot.

In the morning, Huck sneaks into corn fields and "borrows" a watermelon, a mushmelon, a pumpkin, or some new corn, reasoning again that Pap has said it is no harm to borrow if you intend to pay someone back.  However, since the widow has said that such acts are stealing, Jim feels that both Pap and the widow have points, so the best thing to do is just to decide not to borrow the same things all the time.  So, they have eliminated taking persimmons and crabapples.  Huck narrates,

We warn't feeling just right, before that, but it was all comfortable now.  I was glad the way it come out ,too, because crabapples ain't ever good, and the p'simmons wouldn't be ripe to two or three months yet.

In this passage of Chapter XII, Mark Twain satirizes the way in which people rationalize and justify their wrongdoings.

In Chapter XIII, when Jim and Huck encounter a wrecked steamboat, they find a skiff full of plunder and transfer this to the raft, but think nothing of taking this because the "gang of murderers" have really stolen it.  However, Huck does feel some obligation to find someone to rescue the men on the wrecked boat.  So, he fabricates a story that his family is stranded on the Walter Scott in order to convince the watchman to rescue the thieves.  Pip feels "ruther comfortable" about what he has done because he believes that the widow would be proud of him for helping the thieves

because rapscallions and dead beats is the kind the widow and good people takes the most interest in.

Here Twain satirizes the efforts of people to provide charity to people who are strangers and of little character when they often neglect those in their own family or neighborhoods.

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