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Course Hero, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Study Guide," October 27, 2016, accessed November 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Adventures-of-Huckleberry-Finn/.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Quotes

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1.

The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time.


Huck, Chapter 1

The Widow Douglas takes in Huck out of pity and intends on helping Huck become civilized. Huck struggles to adjust to her ways.

2.

But by-and-by pap got too handy with his hick'ry, and I couldn't stand it. I was all over welts.


Huck, Chapter 6

Pap has returned and taken Huck to live with him. They are on an island and Huck is kept like a prisoner. While there are some aspects of living with Pap that Huck enjoys, he can't take all the beatings his father gives him for no reason.

3.

People would call me a low down Abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum—but that don't make no difference.


Huck, Chapter 8

Huck has escaped to Jackson's Island where he finds Jim who also has escaped. When Jim tells him that he is running away from Miss Watson so he can be free, Huck has promised he will not tell Jim's secret or turn him in. This promise is easy to keep, according to Huck, because he will not be returning to St. Petersburg either.

4.

I begun to think how dreadful it was, even for murderers, to be in such a fix.


Huck, Chapter 13

Huck claims to not have a conscience. However, Huck shows concern for everyone. He believes in basic human decency. In this case he puts himself and Jim in danger to help people he does not know and whom he has proclaimed are violent criminals.

5.

Well, he was right; he was most always right; he had an uncommon level head, for a nigger.


Huck, Chapter 14

Early on Huck recognizes that Jim is intelligent and thoughtful. As much as Huck helps Jim by escaping, Jim helps Huck in practical ways and by his company. Despite recognizing Jim's sense Huck is still beholden to the belief system he grew up with. He says Jim is levelheaded—but only compared to others of his race.

6.

It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger—but I done it, and I warn't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither.


Huck, Chapter 15

Huck has played a trick on Jim. The trick hurts Jim very much and he lets Huck know that. When Jim turns away from Huck, the boy realizes the wrong he has done. While apologizing is the natural thing to do in such a case, it is not so in the South. A white person never has to apologize and is never wrong when it comes to a black person. Huck's actions speak to his character.

7.

Conscience says to me, 'What had poor Miss Watson done to you, that you could see her nigger go off right under your eyes and never say one single word? What did that poor old woman do to you, that you could treat her so mean? Why, she tried to learn you your book, she tried to learn you your manners, she tried to be good to you every way she knowed how. That's what she done.'


Huck, Chapter 16

Huck is facing a moral dilemma. He is on the verge of assisting Jim escape slavery. It is a fact that becomes real now that it is about to happen. Huck reevaluates if he is doing the right thing. By helping Jim he feels he is harming Miss Watson. He is torn.

8.

We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.


Huck, Chapter 18

Huck has just escaped the feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons. He is upset and shocked at the violence between them that occurs without any real reason. Escaping and making it back to the raft, Huck appreciates the idyllic life he and Jim have experienced while floating down the Mississippi River on the raft.

9.

The pitifulest thing out is a mob ... they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it, is beneath pitifulness.


Colonel Sherburn, Chapter 22

The mob has come and is ready to lynch Colonel Sherburn after he shoots and kills a drunken man who has insulted him. The colonel shows no fear and his rebuke of the mob and their mentality stifles them. Embarrassed, they walk away. Sherburn's words prove to be astute.

10.

I bust out a-cryin' en grab her up in my arms, en say, 'Oh, de po' little thing! de Lord God Amighty fogive po' ole Jim, kaze he never gwyne to fogive hisself as long's he live!'


Jim, Chapter 23

Jim misses his family. He feels guilty about the way he treated his daughter when she was sick. Jim's care and genuine concern contrasts with the way Pap treats Huck and the way the duke and the king treat everyone. Huck comes to recognize that Jim cares about his family as much as white people care about theirs.

11.

It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race.


Huck, Chapter 24

Huck has seen the duke and the king fool a number of people. They have taken people's money through a number of schemes. By this point, he is sick of their schemes and the way they treat people. With this scheme Huck feels they have gone too far.

12.

I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: 'All right, then, I'll go to hell'—and tore it up.


Huck, Chapter 31

Huck has come to a turning point. Jim has been taken and held prisoner until he can be returned to his rightful owner. Huck could walk away and do nothing; Jim will be returned and it will not be Huck's fault. However, Huck makes a stand that goes against the beliefs he was raised with and those his society holds. He will take action and do what he can to ensure Jim's freedom even if that means he will go to hell. Huck has matured by recognizing that civilized people are not the final word on moral behavior.

13.

But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before.


Huck, Chapter 43

Huck has had enough of the civilized world. He's heading West, away from the slave-plagued South. By electing to strike out on his own, Huck has decided to follow his own conscience. He will no longer accept being told right from wrong from "civilized" people whose ways he does not respect.

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