Huckleberry Finn And The Gold Rush

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Over the past two centuries, America has been plagued by a sharply contrasting vision of what is and what should be. Since the Civil War, and even decades before the conflict began, authors and filmmakers have attempted to highlight problems that exist in society and cast them under a critical spotlight. They criticize and mock society’s faults and urge their respective audiences to enact positive change. Although one may see Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush as two completely separate and different works of high comedy, their similarities are much more visible upon analysis. Using satire as a critical tool, Twain and Chaplin call for social change that fits in line with the ideals of America, such as justice, equality and respect. By using satire in Huckleberry Finn and The Gold Rush, Twain and Chaplin argue that real American life is so far from being idealistic that the gap between the real and the ideal is shocking, unnerving and a cause for immediate reflection on behalf of audiences. Although Huckleberry Finn and The Gold Rush may seem very different in terms of plot, character development and setting, it’s worth noting that the two are very similar in their use of satire. In both works, one could define the type of high comedy used as that of social satire. A social satire is the criticism of society for its less than ideal traits, in hopes that audiences will recognize the faults and attempt to eradicate them. Social satirists, such

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