The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed 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. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back.
Huck discusses events that have occurred since the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the novel in which he made his first appearance. Huck talks about how he wants to be free and doesn’t want it be civilized to the reader
I hadn’t had a bite to eat since yesterday, so Jim he got out some corn-dodgers and buttermilk, and pork and cabbage and greens—there ain’t nothing in the world so good when it’s cooked right—and whilst I eat my supper we talked and had a good time. . . .We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.
Huck has just escaped from the Grangerford-Shepherdson feud and is thoroughly sickened by society. Huck and Jim are free on the raft and they love it.
It was a close place. I took . . . up the letter I’d written to Miss Watson, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.
The duke and the dauphin have sold Jim, who is being held in the Phelpses’ shed pending his return to his rightful owner. Huck thinks life would’ve been better if they’d stayed with miss Watson. Huck composes a letter to Miss Watson, telling her where Jim is. When Huck thinks of his friendship with Jim,. Huck tears up the letter He decides that going to “hell,” if it means following his gut and not society’s hypocritical and cruel principles, is a better option than going to everyone else’s heaven. This moment of decision represents Huck’s true break with the world around him. At this point, Huck decides to help Jim escape slavery once and for all. Huck also realizes that he does not want to reenter the “sivilized” world: after all his experiences and moral development on the river, he wants to move on to the freedom of the West instead.
Tom told me what his plan was, and I see in a minute it was worth fifteen of mine for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us all killed besides. So I was satisfied, and said we would waltz in on it.
Huck once again swayed by his friend Tom. Tom insists on a more complicated plan with “style.” Tom’s return in the final chapters of the novel temporarily stops or reverses Huck’s development: Huck, in many ways, reverts to the status of Tom’s follower that he occupied at the beginning of the novel. Nonetheless, Huck maintains his characteristic realistic outlook on the world, and his prediction that Tom’s plan could get them killed is more accurate than he knows.
But I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.
In this quote things have been resolved. Jim is free, Tom is on his way to recovering from a bullet wound, and Aunt Sally has offered to adopt Huck. Huck contemplates ways to continue living with the same freedom he felt on the raft. Huck’s break from society is complete, and before the dust from his adventures is fully settled, he is already scheming to detach himself again.
The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is–a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness.”
The idea of YOU lynching anybody! It’s amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a MAN! Because you’re brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a MAN? Why, a MAN’S safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind — as long as it’s daytime and you’re not behind him.