Compare Widow Douglas and Mrs. Watson

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Compare Widow Douglas and Miss Watson

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain satirizes Pre-Civil War society through Widow Douglas and Miss Watson over their treatment of Huck. They are hypocritical, single, old women who attempt to educate Huck in the ways of the "sivilized" society and show him the benefits of religion. Ironically they are racist even though it contradicts their religious beliefs. Twain emphasizes these satirical points in his descriptions on there treatment of Huck and through their own habits. He illustrates there hypocritical views further through there behaviors and teachings toward Huck. While these characters are similar in many ways, their subtle differences reveal variations on Twain's satire of a "sivilized" society.

The Widow Douglas teaches Huck religion, while Miss Watson tells him to pray: Huck learns about "spiritual gifts" and salvation from these women. Where the Widow tries to portray a benevolent view of religion to get Huck to accept it, Miss Watson, in last resort attempt to regain her credibility, uses scare tactics. For instance Huck says "sometimes the widow would take me to one side and talk about Providence in a manner that would make my mouth water; but maybe the next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again" (14). Part of the widow's overall design is to instill Huck with the values of religion. Huck recognizes her good intentions by saying "the widow, she cried over me, and called me a poor lost lamb, and she called me lots of other names, too, but she never meant no harm by it" (2). On the other hand, Miss Watson tries to scare Huck into believing by telling him about how he is going to Hell, or the "bad place," unless he changes his ways.

Twain portrays Widow Douglas and Miss Watson as being single, old women. Widow Douglas had a husband which suggests that she is a more caring a compassionate person toward others. While on the other hand, Miss Watson has a very irritable...
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