AP Lang and Comp - Hollis 3 discussion

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Twain's Satire

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message 1: by Mr. Hollis (new)

Mr. Hollis | 3 comments Mod
Read (or reread) chapters 16 to 24. Consider the episode between the two families (The Shepardson's and Grangerford's), and the antics of The King and The Duke. How do these two stories work as a sort of critical or satirical comment made by Mark Twain on the society and/or personal ambitions of Americans in the mid-18th century?


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda Mai | 3 comments The Shepardson and Grangerford families have a strong hatred towards eachother to a point where they want to kill eachother. But when it comes down to the question as to why they don't get along, the reason is unknown. This has been going on for years and Twain uses satire in this part of the story to show how pointless and stupid the fight between the two families is, proving that society tends to overreact and drag situations out to a whole different level.

The King and the Duke were two guys in need of help of escaping a town. Jim and Huck were generous enough to pick them up and help them out. They made themselves seem royal and innocent and Jim and Huck fell for it. Later on, the Duke and King decided to put on a show of one of Shakespears plays to make money. When they performed, the audience was highly disappointed whenever the show was super short. The audience was embarrassed because they were ripped off but they didn't even get mad at the Duke and King. Instead, they told the rest of the towns people that the show was so great so they can go see it themselves and get ripped off too. This is where the satire comes in, because its pretty messed up how the audience handled the embarrassment. It was stupid that they didn't kick the Duke and King out of their town, but instead tricked their very own neighbors and friends into getting ripped off also.


message 3: by Emily (new)

Emily | 1 comments The Shepardson’s and Grangerford families had an unusual hatred towards each other. It’s unusual because they hated each other so much that they would get into gun fights and try to k ill members of the opposite family. This is satirical because twain put the two families against each other to the death to set an example of how silly it is when families fight for bad reasons to the point of death. Twain is trying to show society, by over dramatically expressing these families hatred, that people are over dramatic in things they believe in and can over react too much over something so simple that words could be the resolution.

The King and the Duke are jokesters; they are crooks who want to win money by doing dirty deeds. Huck and Jim stumble upon the King and the Duke and take pity on them, allowing them to ride along with them into the next town. The two phonies make up a lie about who they are and Huck and Jim fall for it, even though Huck later figures out the two are just lying to them. When they arrive in a small town in Arkansas, the King and Duke put on a performance for a small amount of the Public. The people are outraged by the King and Duke by putting on such a short performance; the people believe they have been ripped off. The audience is so embarrassed of the incident that instead of being angry at the crooks they decide to make sure that everyone else in town gets ripped off too. The show continues on for three nights and each time the audience is bigger and bigger bringing in big bucks for the King and Duke, by the people falling into their scheme. This is satirical because twain uses the audience as people who feel embarrassed and want their friends and neighbors to feel the same feeling that they are dealing with. Instead of dealing with the crooks themselves they hurt the people they know rather than the people that are hurting their town.


message 4: by Kat (new)

Kat Roversy | 3 comments Two houses, both alike in dignity... in Mark Twain's novel where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. Sound familiar?
"Did you want to kill him, Buck?" "Well, I bet I did." "What did he do to you?" "Him? He never done nothing to me." "Well, then, what did you want to kill him for?" "Why, nothing -- only it's on account of the feud." "What's a feud?" "Why, where was you raised? Don't you know what a feud is?" "Never heard of it before -- tell me about it." "Well," says Buck, "a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man's brother kills HIM; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the COUSINS chip in -- and by and by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. But it's kind of slow, and takes a long time."
Like in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, there are two families who are constantly wanting to beat the crap out of each other on 'account of the feud'. (Shepardsons and Grangerfords = Capulets and Montagues, and coincidentally enough where Harney and Sophia successfully run off together, but they don't die in the end.) Why they won't just shake hands? We don't know. It would be much easier and beneficial for both parties to suck it up. Mark Twain uses this standpoint to show how pointless fighting can be. How something small can turn into a full out brawl, that grudges are taken to hyperbolic levels! Calm down people, and ask yourselves the question from the band 'War' -funny enough- "Why can't we be friends?"
Jim and Huck meet the 'Duke' and the 'King', as those two claim to be. Jim and Huck go along with their story- however, Huck notices that something's up. "It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn't no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it's the best way; then you don't have no quarrels, and don't get into no trouble. If they wanted us to call them kings and dukes, I hadn't no objections, 'long as it would keep peace in the family; and it warn't no use to tell Jim, so I didn't tell him. If I never learnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way." Huck knows the truth, and decides to keep quiet so the situation won't become more complicated. Silence is a large factor of how a society can progress. Silence can stop political struggles, silence can harm a person in need who is being hurt. This point can apply to a bunch of situations! Oh- and this: "I'm in, up to the hub, for anything that will pay, Bilgewater; but, you see, I don't know nothing about play-actin', and hain't ever seen much of it. I was too small when pap used to have 'em at the palace. Do you reckon you can learn me?" DOES NOT SOUND EUROPEAN.
So, the 'Duke' and 'King' rip everyone off by giving a crappy, short performance with a hefty price of money. The townspeople realize this. "We are sold -- mighty badly sold. But we don't want to be the laughing stock of this whole town, I reckon, and never hear the last of this thing as long as we live. NO. What we want is to go out of here quiet, and talk this show up, and sell the REST of the town! Then we'll all be in the same boat. Ain't that sensible?." For their pride, they decide to keep this game going, so that they don't feel like idiots. This is a universal principle where once someone is at their lowest, they drag others down to their level.


message 5: by Aashraya (last edited Nov 14, 2011 06:12PM) (new)

Aashraya Nakarmi | 3 comments The Shepardson and Grangerford families are almost a mirrior image of Capulets and Montagues(Like Kat said). They are two families that hate each other and the kids born into this family are raised to hate the other family. It is outrageous the lengths these two families go to. "Next Sunday we all went to church, about three mile,everybody a-horseback. The men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall" Mark Twain uses satire to emphasis how somtimes people born into a family are forced to follow a certain path without their consent.A exmaple is how previously Huck was troubled in deciding whether or not to turn in Jim. Huck has been raised to see Jim as nothing more than a "slave". However, Huck realized he doesnt have to follow a certain path and thinks for himself. Mark Twain emphasises the silliness of blindly following orders, without thinking for yourself.

The King and Duke are con artists. They are out to rip off people. Although Huck knows that they are liars, he doesn't say anything, because he thinks it will get troublesome. The King and Duke take advantage of Huck and Jim, by taking their beds, using the term runaway slave out loud and etc. They use their fake status to get what they want. Mark uses satire in this to show and you must not be quiet. You must speak up even if it causes you embarrassment. Huck should have confronted them about being liars. The towns people should have not lied to the other people just because they got ripped off. It shows how selfish people are every though they loose nothing by helping others.


message 6: by Esmeralda (new)

Esmeralda Tonche | 3 comments The Shepardson's and the Grangerford's families hate each other .It is a strong hate that they are willing to kill members of each others families. The satirical part of this is that both families are fighting for the wrong reasons for a long time."One day Buck and me was away out in the woods hunting, and heard a horse coming. We was crossing the road. Buck says:"Quick! Jump for the woods!"We done it, and then peeped down the woods through the leaves. Pretty soon a splendid young man come galloping down the road, setting his horse easy and looking like a soldier. He had his gun across his pommel. I had seen him before. It was young Harney Shepherdson. I heard Buck's gun go off at my ear, and Harney's hat tumbled off from his head. He grabbed his gun and rode straight to the place where we was hid. But we didn't wait. We started through the woods on a run. The woods warn't thick, so I looked over my shoulder to dodge the bullet, and twice I seen Harney cover Buck with his gun; and then he rode away the way he come — to get his hat, I reckon, but I couldn't see. We never stopped running till we got home. The old gentleman's eyes blazed a minute—'twas pleasure, mainly, I judged — then his face sort of smoothed down, and he says, kind of gentle:"I don't like that shooting from behind a bush. Why didn't you step into the road, my boy?""The Shepherdsons don't, father. They always take advantage."....."Soon as I could get Buck down by the corn-cribs under the trees by ourselves, I says: Did you want to kill him, Buck?""Well, I bet I did.""What did he do to you?""Him? He never done nothing to me.""Well, then, what did you want to kill him for?""Why, nothing— only it's on account of the feud.""What's a feud?""Why, where was you raised? Don't you know what a feud is?""Never heard of it before — tell me about it.""Well," says Buck, "a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man's brother kills him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in — and by and by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. But it's kind of slow, and takes a long time.""Has this one been going on long, Buck?""Well, I should reckon! It started thirty year ago, or som'ers along there." (Pg.109-110)
The King and Duke are two guys that are help by Huck and Jim to escape from their town. This guys lie to Huck and Jim of who they are, saying that they are royal. Even though they fall for it Huck later figures it out that they are lying to them."It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn't no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it's the best way; then you don't have no quarrels, and don't get into no trouble. If they wanted us to call them kings and dukes, I hadn't no objections, 'long as it would keep peace in the family; and it warn't no use to tell Jim, so I didn't tell him. If I never learnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way."(Pg.128)When they arrive in a small town King and Duke perform in a small audience. When the audience realized that they were ripped off from King and Duke short performance, instead of them going after the two guys they felt embarrassed..The audience later make sure to make everyone in town to get ripped off as well. The satirical part of this is that the audience hurt the people from their town by getting ripped off as well,instead of hurting the two guys who ripped them off.


message 7: by Jomar (last edited Nov 20, 2011 11:28AM) (new)

Jomar G. | 3 comments The Shepardson's and the Grangerford's families have a very strange hatred towards each other for unknown reasons and they have been feuding for a long time. Both families hate each other to a point that they kill each others' family members. The tension between these two families is satirical because Twain is trying to show how pointless violence is when trying to resolve any situation.
The king and duke are tricksters. They were lucky that Huck and jim were able to help them out. Later The king and the duke perform a show in front of an audience. The audience felt ripped off because the show was to short. This is satirical because instead of the audience speaking up to the king and duck, they tell the people from their own town to see the performance.


message 8: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Nguyen | 1 comments The Shepardson and Grangerford families are enemies in a feud. It is strange that no one can remember how or why they became enemies. It has came to the point where the two families hold their rifles between their knees at church as the minister preaches about brotherly love. That is how passionately the two families hate each other. Mark Twain used satire in this part of the story to show how ridiculous the feud between these two families are. The families are representing society and how absurd and histrionic society is when there is no peace.

The King and The Duke are con artists who trick Huck and Jim into thinking that they're royalty. The younger man claims that he's an impoverished English duke while the older man claims to be dauphin, the long lost son of King Louis XVI of France. This causes Huck and Jim to treat them both like royalty. On top of that, The King and The Duke put on a lousy show in town to make money. The audience was so embarrassed to be ripped off that they made sure everyone else in the town got ripped off as well. After the performance, they told everyone else in town that the play was wonderful. This part of the story was full of satire because the audience took out their anger on the people they know rather than the people who tricked them. It is ludicrous how the audience thought that they could keep their dignity by tricking the people of the town into wasting their money rather than giving the King and the Duke what they deserved. Tricking the people of the town into seeing the play is only benefiting the King and the Duke, who actually don't deserve a penny.


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