Study Guide

Miss Watson in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Miss Watson

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Miss Watson is Widow Douglas' sister, "a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles [glass]" (1.6). And she means well. (We guess.) But if Widow Douglas represents the good parts of civilization, Miss Watson is the bad parts. The nagging parts. The slave-owning parts.

She's got a whole list of rules for Huck, including:

"Don't put your feet up there, Huckleberry"; and "Don't scrunch up like that, Huckleberry—set up straight"; and pretty soon she would say, "Don't gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry—why don't you try to behave?" (1.6).

In the end, though, Miss Watson's conscience pricks her just a little too hard, and she sets Jim free in her will. Does this redeem her? Can we blame her for wanting to sell Jim, or is she just a product of her time?

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