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Who is Colonel Sherburn, and what aspect of human nature does he criticize?

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route61shady | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 14, 2008 at 4:14 PM via web

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Who is Colonel Sherburn, and what aspect of human nature does he criticize?

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yaday | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 14, 2008 at 11:35 PM (Answer #1)

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Colonel Sherburn is a store-owner and the richest man in town. He is insulted  by a drunk man named Boggs in the "Arkansaw" chapter (ch. 22).  In regards to the mob speech, he describes humanity as being cowardly because of the mob mentality it has.  The lynching mob is seen as sheep-like because it has a one-track mind: people see an opportunity to take justice into their own hands but never really question the motive/reason.  The wave metaphor is used to parallel this concept.  Lastly, the crowd is easily swayed by Sherburn's speech on cowardice.     

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melissa1106 | TA , Grade 11 | Salutatorian

Posted June 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM (Answer #2)

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Sheburn was a very wealthy man in a town that Huck Finn finds himself in. He critques that the fact that all humans are "cowards" and that they are ignorant for ganging up in a mob. The mob is easily convinced by what he says and leaves him alone. 

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