"All right, then, I'll go to hell": Religious Hypocrisy as the Subjacent Discourse in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Lasso De La Vega Huerga, Ramón
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The aim of this essay is to analyse the literary elements that Twain utilised as tools to present his sharp critique of religion the institution of slavery and the Southern society which benefited from it. With this purpose in mind, a theoretical framework will be provided first. The historical context will deal with the religious situation of 19th -century U.S. and the abolitionist movement. Moreover, an explanation will be given that accounts for Twain’s use of the character of Huck in an attempt to conceal his discourse in the innocent image of a child by making numerous ironic remarks aimed at sparking a moral debate on the part of the readers. Following that, the novel will be analysed from three perspectives: the contradictions found in religious discourse about slavery, the rehumanisation of Jim’s character, and Huck’s ethics and the literary devices he used in order to express it, in particular, his interior monologue. Lastly, I will summarise the conclusions we reached in the analysis section regarding Twain’s exposure of religious hypocrisy in order to further his abolitionist message.