Analytical Journal for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
“Then at the bottom was the biggest line of all, which said:
LADIES AND CHILDREN NOT ADMITTED
‘There,’ says he, ‘if that line don’t fetch them, I don’t know Arkansaw!’” (Twain 150)
The King and the Duke, insulted that no one seems to appreciate their acting talents,
appeal to man’s baser drives.
The Duke’s mockery of his potential audience’s tastes is ironic
given his acting talents are conning people not entertaining or enlightening them.
however, is satirizing the lascivious interests of his society.
The temptation of the forbidden
overwhelms good judgment.
It is not the content of the show that is given the largest font, it is
the cautionary statement.
“Inquiring minds want to know” certainly applies here.
is reminiscent of Twain’s cautionary statements to his readers and, once again, makes the point
that we tend to do what we are told not to do.
However, Twain also seems to be directing these
comments, in this moment, towards men; children and women are fooled less often than male
characters in the novel.
“Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place.
She said all a
body would have to do there was to around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever.
So I didn’t think much of it.
But I never said so.
I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would
go there, and she said not by a considerable sight.
I was glad about that, because I wanted him
and me to be together.” (Twain 3)
Miss Watson’s attempts to civilize Huckleberry are gone to waste when Huck comments on the
concept of heaven and hell and that he prefers to go to hell because that is where Tom Sawyer
will be, as if Tom’s footsteps as a role model is an excellent choice to follow. Miss Watson
decides to get Huck an education so that he will be welcomed to heaven. When she warns him of
his behavior and threatens him with the notion of going to hell, a sense of excitement and
enticing rises. This creates situational irony as Huck finds the description of hell far more
tempting than the description of heaven. In this ironic reference, Twain reminds the reader of
Huck's childhood innocence. Only a child would rationally choose hell over heaven. Voice is
also established through his humorous way of speaking and thinking by the narrator,
Huckleberry Finn. Parody and mockery is also enforced by Twain in that it mocks Huck’s
“intelligence”. As the readers can infer that Huck is not overly educated or rich, it is evident that
he is out of the touch with civilized society. Through the use of ethos, Huck takes Hell as the
best place to go when he is has not ever been there. Huck’s response of “I want him and me to be
together” shows his level of intelligence as not very high for he actually considers hell a tangible
place. The novelty of practices lends Huck's observations a humorous, fresh perspective on the
foibles of society. Though Huck always remains open to learning, he never accepts new ideas