The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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Irony In Huckleberry Finn

What are examples of irony in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

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A good example of Twain’s use of irony occurs when Huck struggles with whether or not he should turn in Jim and go to hell for doing it.  This type of irony, known as dramatic irony, occurs when the audience understands that Huck is really doing the right thing by not turning in Jim, but he doesn’t realize it yet. Huck thinks he is breaking the law by harboring and helping Jim run away.  As an audience, we know that Huck has learned to love Jim as a friend and father figure and finds it impossible to hurt Jim by sending him back to Miss Watson.  However, he is still so brainwashed by society’s values that slaves are property, he feels he is doing the wrong thing and will “go to hell” for tearing up the letter he thought of sending to Miss Watson. 

Huck struggles with his conscience throughout the novel when he has the chance to turn in Jim to the slave hunters on shore and when he goes along with Tom’s tortuous antics with Jim at the end of the book. However, we, as...

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