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Quotes

Quote #7

It may be remarked, in passing, that the number of compositions in which the word "beauteous" was over-fondled, and human experience referred to as "life's page," was up to the usual average. (21.18)

In describing the students' speeches, Twain pokes fun at conventional ideas about poetic and beautiful language.

Quote #8

[Huck] had to talk so properly that speech was become insipid in his mouth; whithersoever he turned, the bars and shackles of civilization shut him in and bound him hand and foot. (35.5)

By "cleaning up" his language, the Widow Douglas manages to clean up – or take away – Huck's personality; if you were to render some of Huck's earlier dialogue in a clean, polished style, you could get some idea of how damaging such refinement could be.

Quote #9

"Well, I'd got to talk so nice it wasn't no comfort -- I'd got to go up in the attic and rip out awhile, every day, to git a taste in my mouth, or I'd a died, Tom." (35.9)

Huck's connection to his own way of speaking is so visceral that it actually affects him physically; his way of talking really is an important part of his personality.

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