“Sometimes the widow would take me one side and talk about Providence in a way to make a body’s mouth water; but maybe next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again. I judged I could see that there was two Providences, and a poor chap would stand considerable show with the widow’s Providence, but if Miss Watson’s got him there warn’t no help for him any more.” (3)
The significance of this quote is purely religious. Hypocrisy is deflected by Huck’s understanding of the way religion needs to be practiced (Widow Douglas’ way) and the way it is adhered to by Miss Watson. It is clear that he prefers the Widow’s method to Miss Watson’s.
What Huck learns:
Huck enters the Hannibal after his adventures with Tom Sawyer under the guardianship of Miss Watson and the Widow, yet his practical mindset makes him learn more from Widow Douglas. He is realistic in his approach towards life and therefore is not altogether saddened by the fact that Pap has kidnapped him unwillingly. His lack of education makes him seem wayward, yet he remains to be the most logically sound of all people.
The satirical message in this episode is directed towards religion and religious hypocrisies in the society. The difference in Miss Watson’s Providence is that it strictly outlines how one would enter heaven and hell, yet owns Jim as her slave; Widow Douglas is hypocritical as well as she smokes yet proclaims it as negative. Huck discovers how the best way is the way of logic, not that of a world of heaven and hell.