Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Rules and Order Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
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.
It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. I shoved the whole thing out of my head, and said I would take up wickedness again, which was in my line, being brung up to it, and the other warn't. And for a starter I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again; and if I could think up anything worse, I would do that, too; because as long as I was in, and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog. (31.26)
Talk about doubling down. Huck figures that if he's breaking one rule, he might as well break all of them. (Don't try this at home, Shmoopers.)
"But we won't LET you walk—it wouldn't be Southern hospitality to do it. Come right in." (33.37)
Some rules of Aunt Sally's Southern hospitality are nice, like being friendly to your guests. Others, like owning slaves, are… well, not so nice.