The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Use evidence to explain how Twain characterizes the Arkansas townspeople.

Chapter 21

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The town itself is described as neglected.... the people are described as lazy, poorly dressed, and concerned with nothing but where their next chewing tobacco was coming from. The people who came to town for the circus brought food with them, ate in their wagons..... and did a lot of drinking.

"There was empty drygoods boxes under the awnings, and loafers roosting on them all day long, whittling them with their Barlow knives; and chawing tobacco, and gaping and yawning and stretching--a mighty ornery lot."

"Store tobacco is flat black plug, but these fellows mostly chaws the natural leaf twisted. When they borrow a chaw they don't generly cut it off with a knife, but set the plug in between their teeth, and gnaw with their teeth and tug at the plug with their hands till they get it in two; then sometimes the one that owns the tobacco looks mournful at it when it's handed back, and says, sarcastic:

"Here, gimme the CHAW, and you take the PLUG."'


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn