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Huckleberry Finn Question & Answers

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Huckleberry Finn Question & answers

1. Discuss Twain’s use of humor. Give examples of humor and discuss how humor and wit contribute to the novel

“it was a mean practice and wasn’t clean, and I must try to not do it any more. That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it. Here she was a-bothering about Moses, which was no kin to her, and no use to anybody, being gone, you see, yet finding a power of fault with me for doing a thing that had some good in it. And she took snuff, too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself.”(ch.1)

“Afterwards Jim said the witches bewitched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees again, and hung his hat on a limb to show who done it. … Jim was most ruined for a servant, because he got stuck up on account of having seen the devil and been rode by witches.” (ch. 2)

“A scow or a raft went by so close we could hear them talking and cussing and laughing – heard them plain; but we couldn't see no sign of them; it made you feel crawly; it was like spirits carrying on that way in the air. Jim said he believed it was spirits; but I says: 'No; spirits wouldn't say, 'Dern the dern fog.'" (Chapter 19)

“all went to church, … The men took their guns along, … and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall. The Shepherdsons done the same. It was pretty ornery preaching—all about brotherly love, and such-like tiresomeness; but everybody said it was a good sermon, and they all talked it over going home, and had such a powerful lot to say about faith and good works and free grace”(ch. 18 )

“Jim tried it again, and then another time, and it acted just the same. Jim got down on his knees, and put his ear against it and listened. But it warn't no use; he said it wouldn't talk. He said sometimes it wouldn't talk without money.” (ch. 4)

Mark Twain’s use of humor in, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, satirizes hypocrisy, ignorance, and racial biased found in certain characters or events in the novel. Humor based on hypocrisy is introduced in encounters with the Widow as she scolds Huck for wanting to smoke saying it's a mean practice even though she uses snuff herself. Hypocrisy is also seen with the Grangerfords as they attend church and talk of good works and faith yet they bring weapons to church, and participate in senseless violence. Twain also uses Jim’s ignorance of certain concepts and his ridiculous belief in superstition for a wide range of different humorous encounters. Such use of humor is a driving force that leads the novel to be such a classic.

2. Discuss the subject of Man’s inhumanity to man.

“ ‘It warn’t the grounding—that didn’t keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder-head.’

‘Good gracious! anybody hurt?’

‘No’m. Killed a nigger.’

‘Well, it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.’”(ch. 32)

“It most froze me to hear such talk. He wouldn't ever dared to talk such talk in his life before. Just see what a difference it made in him the minute he judged he was about free. It was according to the old saying, "Give a nigger an inch and he'll take an ell." Thinks I, this is what comes of my not thinking. Here was this nigger, which I had as good as helped to run away, coming right out flat-footed and saying he would steal his children—children that belonged to a man I didn't even know; a man that hadn't ever done me no harm.” (ch. 16)

"Because Mary Jane 'll be in mourning from this out; and first you know the nigger that does up the rooms will get an order to box these duds up and put 'em away; and do you reckon a nigger can run across money and not borrow some of it?" (ch. 26 )

“It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn't do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn't done that one if I'd a knowed it would make him feel that way” (ch. 15)

"Well, I RECKON! There's two hundred dollars reward on him. It's like picking up money out'n the road." (ch. 31)

These quotes say a lot about man’s inhumanity to man by highlighting the insignificance of a black life; and the inhumane view on the black man as an animal, object, or anything other than human. Throughout the

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