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The use of superstition in the adventures of huckleberry finn by mark twain

Superstition Have you ever held your breath when you walked past a graveyard? Or refused to walk under a ladder because it might bring you bad luck? If so, you might be considered a superstitious person.

Superstition In Huck Finn

Superstition is the belief in something that isn't supported by scientific reason or 'rational' explanation. Bad Luck Many of the instances of superstition in the novel are based on something happening that might bring bad luck or, less often, good fortune.

  • Jim believes in witches and a hairball that knows everything;
  • One sign he does talk about is that having hairy arms and a hairy chest means you will be rich someday;
  • For example, if you start to notice that every time you wear a particular pair of socks, you hit a home run, wearing the socks will become a superstition you feel brings you luck.

In the very first chapter, Huck accidentally flicks a spider into a candle flame. When this happens, he comments: However, he is worried that this won't be enough because this remedy is usually for a different kind of bad luck, gotten from losing a horseshoe you've found.

Jim, the runaway slave who accompanies Huck throughout most of the novel, is a fountain of information about things that can cause bad luck. He tells Huck of many of these, such as talking about a dead man or touching a rattlesnake skin. In the case of the snakeskin, Jim's prediction actually comes true--having the snakeskin attracts another snake, and Jim gets bitten.

  1. Later beliefs had it that evil spirits dwelt on the left-hand side of the body and so began the custom of throwing spilt salt over your left shoulder and into their eyes. As one can see Superstition plays an important role in the novel Huck Finn.
  2. Superstition is a set of behaviors that may be faith based, or related to magical thinking, whereby the practitioner believes that the future, or the outcome of certain events, can be influenced by certain of his or her behaviors. Jim puts the quarter under the hair-ball.
  3. We "knock on wood" to ward off bad luck and carry good luck charms to feel safe. Superstition plays a big role in Twain's attempts to characterize people of the 1840's who are ignorant of the laws of science and nature.
  4. Huckleberry Finn also needs Hope.
  5. Do not touch a snake because it has nothing and you will have nothing.

Later they face many difficulties, and Huck restates Jim's prediction afterwards, saying: Jim tells Huck that there aren't a lot of signs to predict good fortune. He reasons that you don't really need them.

Superstition in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Examples & Quotes

If good fortune is coming, what good does a sign do, since you don't want to avoid it? One sign he does talk about is that having hairy arms and a hairy chest means you will be rich someday. This, like the snakeskin, comes true for him. Jim notes his own hairy arms and chest and is eventually freed, which he counts just as good as becoming rich.

Witches, the Devil, and Spirits Witches are mentioned several times in the novel. Huck ties up a lock of his hair to keep witches away.

What is the role of superstition in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

Tom and Huck play a trick on Jim where they take his hat off his head while he is sleeping and hang it on a branch. They also take some candlesticks and leave five cents to pay for them. When Jim wakes, he blames witches for moving his hat, and embellishes his story, claiming that the five cent piece was given to him by the devil.

  • He hopes that one day he will be free;
  • Fear is another influence on the two;
  • But you is all right;
  • Jim, the runaway slave who accompanies Huck throughout most of the novel, is a fountain of information about things that can cause bad luck;
  • You gwyne to have considable trouble in yo' life, en considable joy;
  • Hope makes one wake up in the morning and move through life with a little more ease.

He says he is able to use it to cure people and summon witches whenever he wants. Witches are again mentioned at Aunt Sally's place near the end of the novel. One of her slaves, Nat, blames witches multiple times for harassing him, whenever he thinks he is hearing or seeing something that's not really there. The devil reappears in the sole of a shoe: Huck's father has a cross made of nails in the heel of his boot to keep the devil away.