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In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, why doesn't Huck get along with Miss Watson and...

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lilparis | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:55 AM via web

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In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, why doesn't Huck get along with Miss Watson and the Widow Douglas?

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted April 3, 2013 at 7:02 PM (Answer #1)

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Huck finds life with the Widow Douglas and her sister Miss Watson extremely tiresome because of the restrictions they impose upon his freedom. He is not used to living in polite society and finds it oppressive.

 

The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilise me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways. (Chapter 1).

 

Miss Watson is even more rigid in her ways than the Widow Douglas, and makes things worse for Huck when she comes to live in the household. She is an austerely religious type who lectures Huck severely on heaven and hell and is piqued when he informs her that he wishes he was in ‘the bad place’ (chapter 1)

 

Gradually, however, Huck does get a bit more used to living with the Widow Douglas, if not Miss Watson, but by the end of the novel, given half the chance he would still prefer to ‘light out’ for the wilds (chapter 43) rather than succumb to the pressures of civilised life once more - this time with another formidable female, Aunt Sally.

 

Huck’s uncomfortable sojourn with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson make for a lot of comedy as he generally fails to live up to their requirements, but it also feeds into the book’s larger themes of social oppression and freedom. 

 

 

 

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