To this day, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is known as one of Mark Twain’s greatest masterpiece. This book is all about one little boy and all of the crazy adventures that he has with his friends. The readers are forced to look inward and see that, even though Huck does not realize what he is doing, he causes society to see what truly matters in life. Mark Twain, through the use of satire and irony, forces the reader to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong, no matter what society tells them.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is set in a time where owning a slave is not only acceptable, but encouraged. Even his own adopted family has a slave named Jim. He sees nothing wrong with owning a slave, until Jim runs away and Huck is forced to decide whether or not to follow the law and turn Jim in to the police or follow his heart and keep Jim
safe. Huck decides to take Jim and says that, people would call him “a lowdown abolitionist and despise [him] for keeping mum” (Twain 74), but he doesn’t care. The author, Mark Twain, satirizes the situation that Huck and Jim are in by shoving the fact that Huck can’t tell anybody about Jim because Huck is supposed to be dead, to the back of the reader’s mind. He is making fun of the fact that harboring a slave is worst than faking a death so that the reader will realize that slavery was a big deal back then. This places the reader into the mind of Huck, and makes them think about what was more important back then.
At the end of the novel, Jim is discovered when he tries to save Huck and is put in a makeshift jail until his owner can come to claim him. Tom Sawyer comes up with an elaborate plan to break him out; complete with digging a moat, writing in a journal with his “own blood” (Twain 415), and digging a tunnel out of there. In the end, the reader finds out that Jim was free just a couple days after he ran away. It is ironic that Jim is free but continues to act like a slave. Their journey to the north, and the whole book, is about freeing Jim so that des not have to worry about being caught and sent back to slavery. When he finally gets there, he finds that he has been free this whole time, so the whole journey was pointless. The point of this irony is to make the reader think about what they would do if they were put into this same situation. Mark Twain’s argument in this chapter of the novel is that it is necessary to look at one man’s struggle for freedom to fully understand that this struggle is futile; that all men should have their freedom from the beginning.
Mark Twain had a vision. He wanted to change the way that people viewed slavery, and wanted to make his readers realize that Jim is a person; not just property. At the time this book was written, any body could own a slave, and they did. They used slaves for everything from cleaning the house, to watching and/or raising their children, to harvesting their crop so that they could earn a profit and not have to do any work. Mark Twain wrote that novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to make his readers sit down and actually think about why slavery was wrong. It made an innocent man and a little boy run for their lives. His use of satire and irony inspire this kind of reflection throughout the whole novel.