50 Huckleberry Finn Quotes From the Classic Novel by Mark Twain
March 14, 2023 5:00 AM EST
These Huckleberry Finn quotes illustrate the moral theme of the book, and also talk about slavery and freedom.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (or, as it is known in more recent editions, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) is a novel by American author Mark Twain.
Even though he was an American author, the novel was first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884.
It was published a few months later, February 1885, in the United States.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is commonly named among the Great American Novels.
It is also one of the first works in major American literature to be written in vernacular English.
The book is known for its depiction of people and places along the Mississippi River.
Twain wrote the novel from the first-person point of view, with Huckleberry “Huck” Finn, narrating the story of how he and a slave named Jim both searched for freedom.
Huck was looking to escape the abuse of his father, and later the confines of society, and Jim was trying to escape slavery.
According to a study by Dr. Keith Oatley, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Toronto, reading fiction like Huckleberry Finn can improve empathy and emotional intelligence.
Engaging with the thoughts and feelings of characters like Huck and Jim helps readers develop a deeper understanding of others’ perspectives.
Enjoy these Huckleberry Finn quotes!
Don’t forget to also check out these Mark Twain quotes that will open your eyes on writing and the value of education.
Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Our inspirational quote category page has even more inspirational and educational quotes.
Short Huck Finn quotes
Research from Emory University demonstrates that reading novels like Huckleberry Finn can lead to increased connectivity in the brain.
The study found that the neural activity experienced while reading lasts for several days, improving readers’ cognitive abilities.
1. “It’s as mild as goose-milk.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
2. “It’s not as bad as it sounds.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
3. “He had a dream and it shot him.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
4. “Stars and shadows ain’t good to see by.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
5. “I don’t want no better book than what your face is.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
6. “If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory!” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
7. “They say I work for the angels they never said I was one.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
8. “Well, Ben Rogers, if I was as ignorant as you I wouldn’t let on.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
9. “He was sunshine most always-I mean he made it seem like good weather.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
10. “It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Thought provoking Huckleberry Finn quotes about morality
A study by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%.
Immersing oneself in Huckleberry Finn’s adventures along the Mississippi River can provide a welcome distraction from everyday stressors and promote relaxation.
11. “I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
12. “There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
13. “Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
14. “It don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no sense, and just goes for him anyway.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
15. “What’s the use you learning to do right when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
16. “I knowed very well why they wouldn’t come. It was because my heart warn’t right; it was because I warn’t square; it was because I was playing double.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
17. “That’s just the way: a person does a low-down thing, and then he don’t want to take no consequences of it. Thinks as long as he can hide it, it ain’t no disgrace.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
18. “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
19. “If I had a yaller dog that didn’t know no more than a person’s conscience does I would poison him. It takes up more room than all the rest of a person’s insides, and yet ain’t no good, nohow.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
If you enjoy this article, check out our collection of Moby Dick quotes from the film and epic novel.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn quotes about society and people
20. “The average man don’t like trouble and danger.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
21. “All kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
22. “It’s the little things that smoothes people’s roads the most.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
23. “So then I didn’t care no more about him, because I don’t take no stock in dead people.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
24. “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain’t that a big enough majority in any town?” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
25. “That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
26. “All I say is, kings is kings, and you got to make allowances. Take them all around, they’re a mighty ornery lot. It’s the way they’re raised.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
27. “Now, we’ll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer’s Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
28. “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.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Philosophical Huckleberry Finn quotes about life, death, and faith
29. “You can’t pray a lie — I found that out.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
30. “Having faith is believing in something you just know ain’t true.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
31. “To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin. That makes calamity of so long life.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
32. “I couldn’t bear to think about it; and yet, somehow, I couldn’t think about nothing else.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
33. “If you notice, most folks don’t go to church only when they’ve got to; but a hog is different.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
34. “I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
35. “Sometimes you gwyne to git hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git sick; but every time you’s gwyne to git well agin.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
36. “We all go through a challenge in life because without a challenge there’d be no reason to keep going toward your future.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
37. “He had been drunk over in town, and laid in the gutter all night, and he was a sight to look at. A body would a thought he was Adam, he was just all mud.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
38. “If you are with the quality, or at a funeral, or trying to go to sleep when you ain’t sleepy – if you are anywheres where it won’t do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in upwards of a thousand places.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
39. “I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead. The stars were shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
40. “It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened- Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
41. “I deserve it all. Let the cold world do its worst; one thing I know–there’s a grave somewhere for me. The world may go on just as its always done, and take everything from me–loved ones, property, everything–but it can’t take that. Some day I’ll lie down in it and forget it all, and my poor broken heart will be at rest.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Huckleberry Finn quotes about slavery, freedom, and Jim
42. “People would call me a low-down Abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum—but that don’t make no difference.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
43. “Jim he couldn’t see no sense in the most of it, but he allowed we was white folks and knowed better than him.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
44. “Jim said that bees won’t sting idiots, but I didn’t believe that, because I tried them lots of times myself and they wouldn’t sting me.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
45. “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.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
46. “Yes—en I’s rich now, come to look at it. I owns myself, en I’s wuth eight hund’d dollars. I wisht I had de money, I wouldn’ want no mo’.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
47. “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.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
48. “Then she told me all about the bad place, and said I wished I was there. She got mad, then, but I didn’t mean no harm. All I wanted was to go somewheres, all I wanted was a change, I warn’t particular.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
49. “I took it up 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.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
50. “Jim said it made him all over trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom. Well, I can tell you it made me all over trembly and feverish, too, to hear him, because I begun to get it through my head that he was most free—and who was to blame for it? Why, me.” ― Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Huckleberry Finn Quotes About Justice
51. “The story of how I left Huckleberry begins — as do all worthy stories — with a goat.” ― John Scalzi
52. “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” ― Ernest Hemingway
53. “I actually got a crush on Anne Heche when I worked with her on Huckleberry Finn. It didn’t work out.” ― Elijah Wood
54. “Those huckleberries in the National League don’t want to do anything that the American League wants to do.” ― Phil Rizzuto
55. “It’s so wrong when I pick up a new edition of Huckleberry Finn and I look at the last page and it doesn’t say, Yours truly, at the end.” ― Leslie Fiedler
56. “I don’t believe in children’s books. I think after you’ve read Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and Huckleberry Finn, you’re ready for anything.” ― John Mortimer
57. “If Mark Twain had had Twitter, he would have been amazing at it. But he probably wouldn’t have gotten around to writing Huckleberry Finn.” ― Andy Borowitz
58. “I liked Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, and that is the kind of character that I would like to have played. That would have been more in tune with who I really was.” ― Keith Thibodeaux
59. “By reading Huckleberry Finn I felt I was able to justify my act of going into the mountain forest at night and sleeping among the trees with a sense of security which I could never find indoors.” ― Kenzaburo Oe
60. “I haven’t the stature to critique one of our literature’s great novels, Tobias; and I’m not one of those who believe The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn needs critiquing for literary or social reasons.” ― Norman Lock
Which of these Huckleberry Finn quotes is your favorite?
The character of Huckleberry Finn is also the narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective) and a friend of Tom Sawyer.
The novel is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The book remained popular with readers,and has also been continuously studied by literary critics.
Since the novel’s release it has been criticized because of its extensive use of coarse language, especially racial slurs.
Even though the conversations between both Huck and Jim, along with the plot of book are anti-racist, it is filled with racial stereotypes.
The pair travel through Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Arkansas.
Near the end of the novel, when Huck learns that Jim is being held at the plantation of Silas and Sally Phelps, he resolves to free him for good, concocting an elaborate plan with Tom Sawyer.
Huck expresses how glad he is to be done telling the story, and resolves to go to the untamed West.
Did you enjoy reading these Huckleberry Finn quotes and lines?
Which of the quotes is your favorite?
Let us know in the comment section below.
February 25, 2023 at 10:47 PM
“It’s lovely to live on a raft . . . “