Determining The Satirical Nature

America's Comic Genius

Work Time

Mark Twain was a master at observing human nature and poking fun at it. He often did so by satirizing authority figures or typical personalities reflecting the quaintness of small-town life. In the excerpt from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , the adolescent protagonist Tom meets his friend, Huck Finn, in the graveyard to bury a cat and partake in a superstitious cure for warts.

Read the excerpt from Mark Twain’s highly prized novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , and consider the following questions.

  • What societal “types” does the author seem to be dealing with?
  • How does language and dialogue enhance this portrayal?
  • How does the author balance humor and avoid complete mockery or cruelty?
  • Why is this important?