The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

What comment about human nature does Twain make in the "loafers" account in chapter 21?

Chapter 21 of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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I believe that Twain's comment alludes to the fact that there are many people who just sit around waiting for something to happen. They're too lazy to make it happen themselves...... but they certainly enjoy watching what happens to others.

"All the streets and lanes was just mud; they warn't nothing else BUT mud

--mud as black as tar and nigh about a foot deep in some places, and two

or three inches deep in ALL the places. The hogs loafed and grunted

around everywheres. You'd see a muddy sow and a litter of pigs come

lazying along the street and whollop herself right down in the way, where

folks had to walk around her, and she'd stretch out and shut her eyes and

wave her ears whilst the pigs was milking her, and look as happy as if

she was on salary. And pretty soon you'd hear a loafer sing out, "Hi! SO

boy! sick him, Tige!" and away the sow would go, squealing most horrible,

with a dog or two swinging to each ear, and three or four dozen more

a-coming; and then you would see all the loafers get up and watch the thing

out of sight, and laugh at the fun and look grateful for the noise. Then

they'd settle back again till there was a dog fight. There couldn't

anything wake them up all over, and make them happy all over, like a dog

fight--unless it might be putting turpentine on a stray dog and setting

fire to him, or tying a tin pan to his tail and see him run himself to



The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn