Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 31 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
"Well, I RECKON! There's two hunderd dollars reward on him. It's like picking up money out'n the road." (31.13)
Jim = $200. Got it? The boy Huck meets on the road doesn't see Jim as a person; he sees him as a big pile of money. It's pretty ugly.
And then think of ME! It would get all around that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his freedom; and if I was ever to see anybody from that town again I'd be ready to get down and lick his boots for shame. That's just the way: a person does a low-down thing, and then he don't want to take no consequences of it. (31.19)
Huck knows there are consequences to his actions—like when you blow off studying to go see the midnight release of The Hunger Games, and then you fail your econ test the next day. Or when you help a slave escape and then everyone makes fun of you. You know. Consequences.
So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter—and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote:
Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. (31.21, 31.22)
Would you drive down the left side of the street? Absolutely not! (Unless you were in England, in which case—please drive on the left.) Not only is it illegal, it'd be dangerous. To Huck, helping Jim escape is like driving on the left. It might feel exciting for a while, but he knows he's doing something wrong and dangerous. It feels a lot better, at least temporarily, to follow the rules. Even if they're arbitrary lines painted on the ground.