Mockery of Society 540003869
Paddy Ashdown, “The greatest failure is that although we have created institutions, we have not created a civil society.” There is continuous stress one to act civilized, but society itself has not managed to be a civilized institution. In Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck struggles between the civilized society and what is the “right thing to do” and his own experiences with society. Huck’s stay at the Grangerford plantation helps him mature as a person and come to his own conclusion about society. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain uses the Grangerford family and their beliefs to mock society, religion, and Romanticism.
The lifestyle and the behavior of the Grangerfords display how civilized and educated society has a tendency to make a mockery of its self. When Huck first enters the Grangerford house as an orphan boy, he describes the family as “mighty nice,” but the family is another contradiction in Huck’s life. Although the family is kind enough to take in Huck, they own slaves and Huck is fighting the slave system by helping Jim flee. Huck also becomes fond of the Grangerford house. For example he says, “I hadn’t seen no house out in the country before that was so nice and had so much style.” Huck never had a real home, other than his stay at Widow Douglas’s home, but that is nothing compared to the palace he has arrived at now. Huck’s admiration for the house is genuine, but naive since both the Grangerford family and house are absurd. He says the house has a lot of style, but when Huck describes the house it is a tacky and tasteless display of wealth. The Grangerford and Shepherdson feud is an attack by Twain on the Southern code of chivalry and aristocracy of the antebellum South. The fact that the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons do not remember what they are fighting about is both ironic and depressing. Twain successfully shows that even the most educated and...