In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" what is the significance of the chapter title, "I Discover Moses and the Bulrushers"?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator
As far as I know, there is no chapter titled "I discover Moses and the Bulrushers". The chapter that this event occurs in is in chapter one, which is entitled "Civilizing Huck-Miss Watson-Tom Sawyer Waits". In this chapter, Miss Watson, in her attempt to "civilize" Huck, forces him to sit still and listen as she reads from the bible. It states that "she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so I didn't care no more about him, because I don't take no stock in dead people." It is quite a funny scenario because Huck was finally interested in a story from the bible, and I am sure that Miss Watson was excited and thinking that she was making progress. But, alas, Huck has his own unique opinion, and since Moses was dead, he didn't care about him at all. This is significant because it sets up a pattern of Huck's thinking that we will see happen over and over in the book: someone tells him how things are, something that happened, or their opinion on it, and then Huck takes that information, mulls it over, and forms his own conclusions. It is a fun way for Twain to satirize situations, and for Huck to gain his independence.
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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