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Huckleberry Finn - Analysis of Chapter 3

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Chapter Three 1. * Huck gets a good going-over by Miss Watson and the Widow * Huck questions Miss Watson's words; that he will 'get whatever he wants if he prays every morning and every night.' * Recalls memories of his father and becomes suspicious that he is still out there looking for him. * Tom makes up a story about how Arabs are coming, but Huck discovers that it was only a Sunday School picnic * Tom tells Huck that he can't see the Arabs because magicians are hiding them and that they'd need a genie to help them. He then goes on to explain genies to Huck. * Huck tries to summon a genie, but when it doesn't work he assumes that it is all just another one of Tom Sawyer's lies. ...read more.


Unlike Tom Sawyer, Huck is unable to make-believe that the picnic is really an Arab army. These characteristics are developed further later in the novel. This focus on rationality and literalness is used by Twain to further attack religion. Huck is told to pray for what he wants, but when he prays and does not get anything, he decides that praying is pointless. This reinforces that Huck is unable to understand religion, as he is taught the belief system, but does not understand that there are certain actions that go along with that. Huck also thinks about the Christian concept of always helping other people. When he realizes that Christianity seems to offer him no personal advantage in life, he quickly rejects it as quite pointless. ...read more.


Due to the novel being from Huck's point of view, readers are positioned to accept Huck's ideas and opinions. For example, when he and Tom Sawyer are at the Sunday School, we are inclined to think Tom is just making up one of his ludicrous stories because that is how Huck views the situation. However, while Huck looks up to Tom, the audience is positioned to dislike his character due to the way he treats and acts towards Huck. 3. I found Twain's arguments about religion quite logical, if not slightly na�ve. I enjoyed reading Huck's thoughts about Christianity and his struggle against it as I have no particular love of religion myself. His approach is very mature, considering his lack of understanding and faith and I was very entertained when he was debating the logic behind praying. Bottom of Form ...read more.

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