© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


by Mark Twain

The Widow Douglas

Character Analysis

The Widow Douglas is a benevolent old woman who lives in a big house at the top of a hill. We don't really hear much about her until Huck tracks Injun Joe and hears Joe explaining how he's going to get his revenge on her dead husband – who apparently had Joe flogged – by breaking into the Widow's house and mutilating her. Lucky for her, Huck saves the day by getting the help of the Welshman. In gratitude, the Widow agrees to take Huck in, clothe him, feed him, and educate him. Huck doesn't much like his life with her – as he puts it, "The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell – everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it" (35.7) – but she's to be respected in any case.