Episode Two: Huck’s Great Escape (Chapters 5-7)
“Call this a govment! why, just look at it and see what it’s like. Here’s the law a-standing ready to take a man’s son away from him— a man’s own son, which he has had all the trouble and all the anxiety and all the expense of raising. Yes, just as that man has got that son raised at last, and ready to go to work and begin to do suthin’ for him and give him a rest, the law up and goes for him. And they call that govment! That ain’t all, nuther.”
The significance of this quote lies in the context. Pap was anti-government, and did not approve of civilized people and their mannerisms. Yet, it is quite apparent that his comments are baseless, his musings unjust.
What Huck Learns:
Huck enters the episode as he confronts his Pap and exits by escaping him by faking his own death and canoeing through the Mississippi River. His practical nature aids him once again to be quick on his feet and plan an escape through the river. Through the time he spends with Pap, Huck learns to rely only on himself and no one else.
Dark humor resides in the fact that a father is willing to hinder his son’s progress. The court succeeds in hampering Huck’s education as it places Huck yet again in his father’s care. The satire is directed not only towards Pap’s thoughts and his actions, but also against the justice system which fails to recognize that Huck’s best interests lie away from his father.