Mark Twain clearly satirizes the hypocrisy of the "good adults" with whom Huck comes into contact. For instance, Miss Watson preaches honesty to Huck, but her promise to Jim to never sell him South is broken. Apparently a good, kindly man, the Reverend Phelps purchases Jim in the hope of receiving a monetary reward. Others in Twain's "Mississippi society" are hypocritical. When two slave-hunters approach Huck's raft, he keeps them at bay by telling them that he and his family have smallpox. Rather than being charitable and offer help to the family, the men try to buy them off and send them elsewhere.
Twain continues his attack upon hypocrisy as he relates the encounter of Huck with the feuding family of Shepherdson, a murdering family who stop break from feuding and attend church on Sunday, but still carry their guns. With the tale of this family, Twain also satirizes the foolishness of so-called educated people in the episode of the feud of the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons. A modern "Romeo and Juliet" family-feud, Twain puts his ironic...
twist on this feud by having the lovers be the only ones who survive. Thus, the families have destroyed themselves because of foolish pride and absolutely ridiculous behavior since no one in the Shepherdsons "can recall why the family is at war."
Another escapade occurs when the King cheats a congregation out of money, but when caught, his alibi about having been a pirate and wishing to convert his bretheren is ludicrous; however, at the revival meeting the people are so overcome by the emotionalism of the meeting. They feel the "love of God" and become so guillible that they donate the money to the King. Here Twain ridicules the religious zealots, a reiteration of his attack on religion is the first part of the novel when Huck says that praying is fun.