Currently, my American Literature class is reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mart Twain. We’re taking notes on the book in the form of a dialectic journal, in which we pick a quote every few chapters and analyze it. Here is my dialectic journal entry from the first few chapters.
Chapter 4, page 14
“At first I hated the school, but by and by I got so I could stand it. Whenever I got uncommon tired I played hookey, and the hiding I got next day done me good and cheered me up… I was getting sort of used to the widow’s ways too, and they warn’t so raspy on me… liked the old ways best, but I was getting so I liked the new ones too, a little bit.”
Before this chapter, Huck’s attitude towards the widow and her “ways” was primarily negative. The widow tried to “civilize” Huck, and although he knew that she “never meant no harm by it” (pg 1), he didn’t see the purpose/appeal of her lifestyle. For example, when they tried to explain their religion to Huck, he looked at everything from a literal viewpoint. He said he didn’t really see a point in prayer because he prayed for fishing looks three or four times and never got them. However, as we can see from this excerpt, although he still has reservations, he is warming up to the widow’s ways. The big questions are whether or not he will continue to feel this way, and which path he will ultimately decide to go down: old, new, or neither?