The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does Twain use irony in the discussion between Huck and Mrs. Phelps about the "steamboat accident" in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?  

Expert Answers info

Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

calendarEducator since 2011

write3,640 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

The episode in question here features Huck telling a story to Mrs. Phelps regarding a fictional steamboat accident. 

Huck tells the story to explain why he was delayed in his arrival and says that a steamboat accident was the cause of the delay. 

When Mrs. Phelps asks if anyone was hurt in the accident, Huck replies that no one was hurt, only one African American died. 

The irony here is in the double meaning of the term "no one" as it implies two, contradictory ideas. 

This statement is ironic because it equates the...

(The entire section contains 274 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial