Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Huckleberry Finn Quotes
The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table you couldn't go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn't really anything the matter with them (1.3)
Well, when you put it like that, it does seem silly. On the other hand, do we really want to be eating from a trough? Don't these rules help make us human—or, are they just silly examples of "sivilization"? What's the difference between these rules and the rules that let one half of humanity enslave or oppress the other half? Deep thoughts.
The judge and the widow went to law to get the court to take me away from him and let one of them be my guardian; but it was a new judge that had just come, and he didn't know the old man; so he said courts mustn't interfere and separate families if they could help it; said he'd druther not take a child away from its father. So Judge Thatcher and the widow had to quit on the business. (5.30)
In general, we'd agree with the new judge: families should stay together. But there isn't one single redeeming thing about Pap and, for once, we'd wish the government would just interfere already.
They all asked me questions, and I told them how pap and me and all the family was living on a little farm down at the bottom of Arkansaw, and my sister Mary Ann run off and got married and never was heard of no more, and Bill went to hunt them and he warn't heard of no more, and Tom and Mort died, and then there warn't nobody but just me and pap left, and he was just trimmed down to nothing, on account of his troubles; so when he died I took what there was left, because the farm didn't belong to us, and started up the river, deck passage, and fell overboard; and that was how I come to be here. So they said I could have a home there as long as I wanted it. (17.47)
This is one of Huck's incredibly elaborate fake family stories. Do you think he'd actually like to have a family like this? Or is it just a convenient fiction to get him out of a tight spot?