"But maybe next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again. I judged I could see--" Ch.3 p.15. Help me to understand this paragraph." that there was two Providences, and a poor...

"But maybe next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again. I judged I could see--" Ch.3 p.15. Help me to understand this paragraph.

" that there was two Providences, and a poor chap would stand considerable show with the widow's Providence,"

What is the Miss Watson trying to do in Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his vivid satire, Mark Twain ridicules the institutions of his times.  In the Southwest, where the novel takes place, there were some rather fundamentalist churches; these churches often had members who felt that their beliefs based on the literal meaning of the Bible were absolutely the ones that were meant to exist in the Christian world.  All other sects were misled in their interpretation of the Bible.

So, while the Widow Douglas tells Huck stories about Moses, the stringent Miss Watson would "knock it down," criticizing the interpretation of the Bible by her sister.  Here, Twain has some fun as he satirizes the hypocrisy of people making Christianity divided into something like political parties.  For, a true Christian would simply try to imbue strong and good priniples into others, rather than be so specific about what someone's interpretation of God's Word is. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, what Miss Watson is trying to do is instill in Huck a harsher, more "fire and brimstone" kind of Christianity than the kind that the Widow was trying to teach him.

What this paragraph is saying is that the Widow had a different view of God and Heaven (Providence) than Miss Watson.  Huck says that the Widow's version sounds good to him.  But then Miss Watson would tear down that version and tell Huck about a different, more strict view.

I think that what is going on here is that Miss Watson is trying harder to get Huck to behave in certain ways.  She seems to be trying to use the idea of a harsh God to scare him into behaving properly.  It does not seem to be working because Huck does not buy into her view of Providence.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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