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Satirizing America: The Purpose of Irony in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn In 1884, Mark Twain published the sequel to his successful novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. With the sequel, Twain took a different approach rather than the comical, boyish tone of Tom Sawyer. He used it as an opportunity to exposes the problems he had seen with society using one of the most powerful methods available to a writer: irony. The technique gave Mark Twain much flexibility in his writing. It was a subtle yet powerful way of expression; critical social commentary enveloped in whimsical humor. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn amuses the reader while expressing a powerful message about society.

Using irony, Twain has created an entire novel that satirizes the foolishness he noticed about society. One wrong he saw with society was that man could be so cruel and inhumane to his fellow man. Take the irony that surrounds the situation at the Phelps' farm.

The Phelps' were good-natured Christians whom were taught by society that slavery was morally right. Therefore, Jim is treated accordingly and locked up in a shed for running away. One subtle part of the irony is that the cruelest person to Jim was not the Phelps', who locked him in the shed, nor the king, who sold Jim to the Phelps. Instead the most cruel person happens to be Tom Sawyer. Tom needlessly put Jim through arduous conditions: first, for knowing that Jim was already a free man, and secondly, such measures were not necessary for the simple task of freeing Jim. Accordingly, they actually allowed Jim out to help them push the grindstone towards the shed: "We see it warn't no use; we got to go and fetch Jim. So he raised up his bed and slid the chain...