Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Rules and Order Quotes
How we cite our 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.
"How you talk, Huck Finn. Why, you'd HAVE to come when he rubbed it, whether you wanted to or not." (3.13)
The Widow's rules (i.e., society's) are arbitrary, and now we see another system of arbitrary rules: fiction. And Tom Sawyer knows what's up. Genies may not exist, but if they did, they'd definitely follow the rules.
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)
Sometimes it's fairer to break the rules. Huck is learning this, but the new judge doesn't know it yet. Sure, the laws say not to separate families. But Huck is definitely better off without his dad.