Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and wasn't clean, and I must try to not do it any more. That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don't know nothing about it. Here she was a-bothering about Moses, which was no kin to her, and no use to anybody, being gone, you see, yet finding a power of fault with me for doing a thing that had some good in it. And she took snuff, too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself.
Part 01 In this passage, you will see that Huckleberry has never had good parents and that living alone, he’s acquired very bad personal habits.
Mark Twain uses this episode to introduce the reader to the theme of hypocrisy which is one of the major themes of this novel. People in Huckleberry’s time were not aware of the bad affects of smoking and so he saw it as a pleasant and harmless pastime. Hypocrisy the act of pretending to have beliefs , opinions , virtues , feelings , qualities ,or standards that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy is thus a kind of lie . Hypocrisy may come from a desire to hide from others actual motives or feelings. From Wikipedia.org
I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead. The stars were shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me, and I couldn't make out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run over me. Then away out in the woods I heard that kind of a sound that a ghost makes when it wants to tell about something that's on its mind and can't make itself understood, and so can't rest easy in its grave, and has to go about that way every night grieving. I got so down-hearted and scared I did wish I had some company.
Part 02 In this reading from Chapter one, Huckleberry’s words remind us that in spite of how clever and confident he seems to be, he is still only a child. These are the kinds of feelings any 12 year old child is likely to have when he or she is left alone to deal with life’s problems.
It makes the reader aware of how vulnerable Huckleberry is which makes his accomplishments in the rest of the novel all the more impressive. At the same time we can see just how intelligent and imaginative Huckleberry is. A person with a duller mind than Huckleberry’s would feel the same fear as he does but would not be capable of creating such a complicated fantasy based on a few noises he hears in the night time.
Finally, Mark Twain is showing the reader just how superstitious Huckleberry is. This is very important, because white people have always made note of the superstitions held by African Americans and claimed that these were proof that black people were not as intelligent as white people. To do this of course, white society conveniently ignored the superstitions that were prevalent in their culture. It is just another form of hypocrisy.
Before we begin to read any novel we would like you to remember that all great books have one thing in common. Each one is planned by the author before he or she begins to write. This means that every paragraph and every word has been deliberately chosen in order to reveal some particular aspect of the plot or something about the personalities of the novel’s characters.
Jeju Reading Audio Program will help you discover the author’s purpose in writing certain passages and will help you determine what an author is really trying to tell you.