Twain in his novel, "Huckleberry Finn", have used different characters to reveal how stupid the society is. Throughout the novel, there are con men, tricksters, pranks who use their little knowledge to deceive the townspeople. Tricks seem to be a significant tool that is used to earn living for many of the characters in the novel. This implies that there is a high supply of the gullible and foolish people in this society. Twain reveals that the town comprises of a number of stupid, ignorant, and gullible people of whom hucksters and con men uses their naivety to earn themselves a better life.
Twain shows how the victims of con men and hucksters are stupid enough to fall on their traps. For instance, duke and the dauphin take advantage of the gullible townspeople by holding The Royal Nonesuch show that was overcharged. However, the con men were not successive on their show because of their ingenuity, but because the townspeople were foolish, vindictiveness and selfishness. After the audience of the first show realized that, it was horrible and not what they expected, they attracted other people in the show to be fooled the same way they did. Instead of the townspeople warning other people not to attend the show, they would rather let them being ripped off as they did. Despite the fact that the dauphine and duke were fake in their ascent and hilariously incompetent in their role-playing, no one could suspect them except Doctor Robinson. When Doctor tried to expose the con men, some of the townspeople, like Mary Jane, dismiss his allegations without taking a second thought. This indicates that people in this society are not in the best fit of the frame of mind to realize that they are being duped. (Twain 406-429)
On the other hand, the deceptive archetypes are not wise enough to convince the townspeople that their fictitious identities and lies are genuine. They were gullible enough not to realize that people would come to discover their deceptive role and bring them to ultimate downfall. From the beginning, duke and the dauphin represented themselves as the deceptive archetype. This is evident when they performed as a team even when they deceptively introduced themselves. They go against each other's actions as revealed when the dauphin develops his personality after sighted Jim Fall for the façade of the duke. He says, "'Bilgewater, I am the late Dauphin!' ‘Yes, my friend, it is too true'" (Twain 192). They continue with the decisive role until the townsmen became known and discover they are untrustworthy. When the deceptive archetypes realize that their tricks have been discovered, they privilege to perform Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet's Soliloquy. However, they foolishly let their prey go by throwing a line from Macbeth, stating, "Till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane" (Shakespeare 211). Luckily, by the time the crowd realizes that they have been tricked and conned, duke and the dauphin had fled with much profit.
However, the novel reveals some notable instances where some of the characters make the audience picture other audience stupid. For example, Huck in many cases has been stereotypically making the audience picture Jim as a stupid black man. He believed that, since Jim was a black man, he could not think wisely. However, Huck's foolishness made him misinterpret Jim. When Huck and Jim were discussing the French man, Huck wanted to make audience picture him as wise and Jim as stupid. Huck foolishly said that the French man was talking like a cat. "Well, den! Dad blame it, why doan' he talk like a man? You answer me dat! I see it weren't no use wasting words-you can't learn a nigger to argue. So I quit." (Twain 310) This argument was only meant to make Jim paper stupid. On the other hand, Jim was naïve enough to the extent that he could not defend his position.
It is evident that not only Jim is stupid but also Huck. After the two finished their argument about the French man speaking English, Jim first slept and subsequently Huck. According to Twain, Jim "was sitting there with his head down between his knees, asleep, with his right arm hanging over the steering-oar" (Twain 130). Although the gravity steered the raft, Twain wanted to show how the two were stupid to fall asleep on a sailing boat through the Mississippi river. However, if they could have come across unexpected barrier, the one to be blamed would be Huck. This is because, Jim fall asleep because he was tired, and he knew that Huck was there to steer the raft.
In conclusion, Twain attempts to reveal how people in the society blindly falls on the traps of the con men and hucksters without thinking critically. In other word, people tend to take things as they are without being skeptical of the event or the idea and this lead them to ultimate downfall. According to him, the consequences of not thinking critically to one's self are depicted by failure to succeed in the future.
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Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. 9 Dec. 2009 . Full Online Text.
Solomon, Muriel. Working with Difficult People. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall Press, 2002. Print.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York, NY: Penguin Group, 1884. Print.