5.0 out of 5 stars
Twain's use of satire in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, May 17 2004
In this book, the author, Mark Twain shows his insights into humanity by portraying them through the eyes of a naive young boy. Twain shows the flaws in humans by nature and also the good side of humans. The flaws are more of a focus in this book in my opinion, flaws that are poked at by satire. Many things, everyday things, are turned into a satire in this book. Although some things are blatantly made fun of, the literary device of satire is one used most often to do so. Things that are part of everyday peoples' lives, such as religion, are portrayed in a comical spoof way. The feeling that Twain had a bad experience with organized religion is one that every reader should get from the text. Or, perhaps it is his belief that organized religion is for those superficial and shallow. The kind of people that are insecure about what other people think of them, so since others are going to church and getting involved they will too. I feel the same way that Twain does about this such thing. All in all, his use of this literary device strengthens the book, giving it not only substance but entertainment value. Twain is able to take a random and normal setting and make it special to the reader. Set in early southern 1900's America, a place where not very much went on, he took the life of a young boy and made it entertaining, good literature. Tom Sawyer, a typical misbehaved young boy growing up through grade school, is the protagonist of this book. Twain makes him a literary character that one can never forget, a simple character, yet one that will always parallel someone that one may encounter. This book is filled with many unforgettable characters, such as Tom, Aunt Polly, and Huck. Twain is undoubtedly one of the best American writers that has yet to write, many of his writing styles and techniques have been the basis of many other stories. He wrote at a time where fantasy was almost not appropriate. The status quo of literature was one that showed the real truths of life, this most likely because of the aftermath of the Civil War. This period of American literature is called Realism, because there was no fantasy, there was no romanticism and there was no outrageous fiction. People wanted to see the cold hard truth in that grim time. A country always has to grieve after such a thing as a war, and it is a process. From this process of grieving we were given the period of realism. Twain was, and is, the most popular author of this period, because his writing was simple, yet so entertaining. In this particular book, he used many literary devices to strengthen his text. All throughout the book Tom is portrayed vividly in the reader's imagination, reminding us all of simpler times. Twain's satire of this period is humorous and enjoying to read. Twain pokes fun at the popular things of his time such as, convention and proper etiquette. The literary device of satire backs Twain's text and enhances the reading experience of the book.