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Prince and the Pauper v0.2

Prince and the Pauper v0.2

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Published by Peregrin Took

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Published by: Peregrin Took on Mar 30, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/25/2013

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Christopher Jensen Mrs.

Zymajtis Satire 29 March 2012 The Prince and the Pauper Satire is an effective medium for conveying messages about and exposing the criticisms and depravity of issues today, whether those issues are frequent or scarce, mental or physical, or harmless or malignant. Mark Twain uses satire in this book to address the topic of child abuse, using the events of 16th century England combined with his clever use of literary techniques such as irony and juxtaposition drive the plot of the book to voice his dissenting opinion on the subject. The Prince and the Pauper’s satire shines a critical light on child abuse, a very serious issue that is relevant today. The satirical portions of Twain’s writing use literary devices to effectively portray the issue in a tone that mirrors his examination of child abuse. First, Twain uses irony to create sympathy for the victims of child abuse by writing that “when *Tom+ came home empty handed at night, he knew his father would cruse him and thrash him first, and that when he was done the awful grandmother would do it all over again and improve on it” (Twain 17). This quote reveals that Tom is beaten as a result of others’ lack of charity, a reality completely and utterly out of his control and outside the scope of his role as a beggar.

Continuing on the abuse of Tom, Mark Twain adds juxtaposition to contrast the lifestyle of a pauper to that of a prince, someone who is free from victimization. The king’s kind words of encouragement at the suggestion that Tom “rest *his+ poor troubled head upon thy father’s heart and be at peace” (Twain 35) counter the oppressive nature of Tom’s previous way of life and expand the gap between the two ideologies and behaviors of the father figures, exploring the lifestyle of a child at both extremes of the issue. Ultimately, Tom represents the victims of child abuse and Mark Twain’s plot devices shine a light on the stark contrast between the vile instigators of violence and the reality with a lack thereof.

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