Sample Essay Outlines
The following paper topics are designed to test your understanding of the novel as a whole and to analyze important themes and literary devices. Following each question is a sample outline to help get you started.
- Topic #1
Humor is a tool Mark Twain uses in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to satirize the evil in his society. Write a paper analyzing the satiric situations in the novel that suggest the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of society’s prevailing attitudes toward the institutions of religion, education, and slavery before the Civil War.
I. Thesis Statement: Mark Twain exposes the evil in his society by satirizing the institutions of religion, education, and slavery.
II. Twain satirizes religion...
A. The Widow Douglas and Miss Watson
1. Miss Watson’s prayers are never answered
2. Widow Douglas tucks her head down to pray before meals
B. The Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons
1. The feuding families sit calmly in church together
2. The families have forgotten the reason for their feud
C. Huck’s decision not to turn Jim in as a runaway slave
1. Huck decides to “go to hell” rather than turn in his friend Jim
2. Huck struggles with his conscience over harboring a runaway slave
(The entire section is 1159 words.)
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