The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

What is explained?

Chapter 28

This quotation explains a great deal about Huck's increasing maturity and understanding of morality, as well as his keen observations. What is explained?

"I see I had spoke too sudden and said too much, and was in a close place. I asked her to let me think a minute; ans she set there, very impatient and excited and handsome, but looking kind of happy and eased-up, like a person that's has a tooth pulled out. So I went to studying it out. I says to myself, I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he is in a tight place is taking considerable resks, though I ain't had no experience, and can't say for certain; but it looks so to me, anyway; and yet here's a case where I'm blest if it don't look to me like the truth is better, and actually safer than a lie. I must lay it by in my mind, and think it over some time or other, it's so kind of strange and unregular. I never see nothing like it. Well, I says to myself at last, I'm agoing to chance it; I'll up and tell the truth this time, though it does seem most like setting down on a kag of powder and touching it off just to see where you'll go to."

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Huck sees Mary Jane sitting on her floor, crying while packing to go to England with her uncles. Mary Jane explains that she is upset about the slaves being so mistreated, and Huck blurts out that they will be together again in two weeks at the most, knowing the Duke and King will abandon the town. Huck is learning that the truth, in the long run, hurts people less than lies. Huck is accustomed to lying when he is in a tight spot but in matters of the heart Huck decides to tell the truth. The short term can be painful but Huck is realizing that truth does more good in the long run.