The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn

How does Huck feel about being civilized?

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Huckleberry Finn is the narrator of this story, and he starts off by describing his life to the reader. After moving in with the Widow Douglas, who buys him new clothes and begins teaching him the Bible. Huck is uncomfortable with all of these "restrictions" on his life, and soon runs away to avoid being "civilized".

In the first chapter, we observe Huck is ironically trapped in a "civilized" world, when he would prefer to live freely in nature. Irony appears in other areas of the novel as well. For example, Huck explains that the Widow Douglas wouldn't let him smoke, even though, ironically, she secretly uses snuff herself. Irony appears yet again when Miss Watson tries to warn Huck about hell. This warning is juxtaposed by her painful academic lessons. Huck finds spelling very difficult to learn and hates the lessons so much, that he remarks hell sounds more enjoyable. In this ironic reference, Twain reminds the reader of Huck's childhood innocence. Only a child would rationally choose hell over heaven.