In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain implements a wide range of humor composed of irony, satire, and exaggeration. He not only uses this humorous effect to make the book entertaining but also to accentuate his various themes and to help complement his main point, the cruelty of making slaves out of blacks.
Huckleberry Finn reeks of irony. Irony, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as "use of language that has an inner meaning for a privileged audience and an outer meaning for the persons addressed or concerned. The three main types of irony that are used throughout the story are verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony.
The verbal irony Mark Twain uses is close to sarcasm. Twain uses verbal irony by saying one thing but meaning something else. An example of verbal irony is given in this quote: "But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. A band of robbers is not supposed to be respectable, so therefore it is ironic that Huck could only join if he went back to the widow and became respectableOne very good example of verbal irony that Twain uses is in Chapter 31, where Twain writes "First they done a lecture on temperance; but they didn't make enough for them both to get drunk on. Another good example of verbal irony is when Levi Bell the lawyer says "Set down, my boy; I wouldn't strain myself if I was you. I reckon you ain't used to lying, it don't seem to come handy; what you want is practice. You do it pretty awkward. This is very ironic because Huck has survived throughout this whole story by lying and the lawyer seems to think that Huck has had no experience or exposure to the techniques of lying.
Another example of verbal irony that Twain uses in chapter 20 is when the duke and the king are interrogating Huck about their raft