What does it mean to be civilized? Dictionary.com defines the verb “civilized” as the following: “to bring out of a savage, uneducated, or rude state”. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck mentions the word “sivilized” three times, along with his strong refusal of being sivilized. This expression of refusal could be understood as an immature complaint coming from a thirteen-year-old boy; however, there seems to be a more mature reason behind Huck’s rationale.
Huck begins as an immature, 13-year-old boy who needs to learn to be a “good boy”, according to Widow Douglas. “The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house…and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer, I lit out” (Twain 9). Miss Watson, Widow Douglas’s sister, joins in and nags him to have table manners, watch his behavior and posture, not start…show more content… This is the first scene in which Huck introduces the term “sivilize”. Here one can observe Huck’s immaturity levels; he has a rebellious mind to “not follow the rules” and to “not listen to what adults say”, just like any other teenager does. Only by referring to this, one could assume Huck’s level of maturity to be most likely zero.
The second time Huck mentions the word “sivilized” is not far away from the first one. In the scene of the second usage, Huck has been “kidnapped” by his drunkard father, Pap, and is told that there could be a chance for Huck to return to Widow Douglas’s home. However, Huck detested that possible outcome; he disliked the fact that he had to return to the “educated” life style. “This shook me up considerable, because I didn’t want to go back to the widow’s