October 19, 2013
Do Not Be “Sivilized”
In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the main character, Huck Finn, leaves society to live on a raft with a runaway slave, who becomes his best friend and teaches him how to care for someone. Huck, originally raised by the town drunk of a father, never goes to school or wears clean clothes; however, when the widow, Mrs. Douglas, adopts him and seeks to “sivilize” him, Huck prefers life with this father. Forcing “sivilization” on Huck causes him to reject the Widow Douglas and prefer to live with a drunk who beats him.
To Huck Finn, civilized means to bathe oneself, wear clean clothes, go to school, and pray. Huck chooses living with his father, who beats him, over living with Widow Douglas, and being “sivilized.”
Huck hates civilization, so much that he sneaks out of the Widow Douglas’s house with Tom Sawyer and his friends to pretend to join a robbers’ gang. “The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son and she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the Widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out” (Twain 2). Huck rebels against the Widow Douglas and the civilized lifestyle she represents.
Huck’s father takes Huck to live with him in a cabin in the woods, where he will choose whether or not go to school or bathe. Although this situation seems great to Huck, he endures horrible abuse from his