Miss Watson: Character - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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      Miss Watson the gaunt old lady is Widow Douglas elder sister and a strict disciplinarian. Unlike her sister she does not put up with Huck's crude ways and always chastises him for his recklessness.

      Miss Watson joins her sister in their task to civilize Huck. She teaches him spellings and expresses her disapproval of his crude ways. Even Huck is not particularly fond of her. Nor does he hold her in very high esteem. When Tom proposes membership to his gang of robbers, the boys get ready to sign an oath. According to the oath, everybody has to propose the name of a family member who can be killed incase of treachery towards the gang. Interestingly, Huck proposes Miss Watson's name. He seems excited at the prospect and says,

".....but all at once I thought of a way, and so I offered them Miss Watson - they could kill her".

      It is worthy of note here that Huck never makes an endeavour to please Miss Watson the way he tries with Widow Douglas.

      Besides her attempts to civilize Huck, she also takes it upon herself to teach him the tenets of Religion. She tells Huck all about "Providence" and "spiritual gifts". She tells him that, by praying, one could get all that one wanted. But, since Huck fails to see any concrete results of such "praying", he gives up the idea altogether. She is appalled when Huck expresses his desire to go to "the bad place" because he cannot relate to Heaven. She chastises him for such thoughts.

      Her perpetual pestering irks him and he complains,

"Miss Watson she kept pecking at me, and it got tiresome and lonesome".

      Through Miss Watson, Mark Twain is trying to satirize the civilized lot of religious hypocrites. Though extremely religious, she doesn't find any fault with her decision to sell Jim off to a slave-trader for eight hundred dollars. She is a typical racist of Pre-civil War America who propagates the belief that slaves are nothing more than cattle and, therefore, can be treated in that manner.

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