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Superstition In Huck Finn


In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark
Twain, there is a lot of superstition. Some examples of
superstition in the novel are Huck killing a spider which
is bad luck, the hair-ball used to tell fortunes, and the
rattle-snake skin Huck touches that brings Huck and Jim
good and bad luck. Superstition plays an important role in
the novel Huck Finn. 

In Chapter one Huck sees a spider crawling up his shoulder,
so he flipped it off and it went into the flame of the
candle. Before he could get it out, it was already
shriveled up. Huck didn't need anyone to tell him that it
was an bad sign and would give him bad luck. Huck got
scared and shook his clothes off, and turned in his tracks
three times. He then tied a lock of his hair with a thread
to keep the witches away. "You do that when you've lost a
horseshoe that you've found, instead of nailing it up over
the door, but I hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any
way to keep of bad luck when you'd killed a spider."(Twain

In chapter four Huck sees Pap's footprints in the snow. So
Huck goes to Jim to ask him why Pap is here. Jim gets a
hair-ball that is the size of a fist that he took from an
ox's stomach. Jim asks the hair-ball; Why is Pap here? But
the hair-ball won't answer. Jim says it needs money, so
Huck gives Jim a counterfeit quarter. Jim puts the quarter
under the hair-ball. The hair-ball talks to Jim and Jim
tells Huck that it says. "Yo'ole father doan' know yit what
he's a-gwyne to do. Sometimes he spec he'll go 'way, en den
ag'in he spec he'll stay. De bes' way is tores' easy en let
de ole man take his own way. Dey's two angles hoverin'
roun' 'bout him. One uv'em is white en shiny, en t'other
one is black. De white one gits him to go right a little
while, den de black one sil in en gust it all up. A body
can't tell yit which one gwyne to fetch him at de las'. But
you is all right. You gwyne to have considable trouble in
yo' life, en considable joy. Sometimes you gwyne to git
hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git sick; but every time
you's gwyne to git well ag'in. Dey's two gals flyin' 'bout
yo' in yo' life. One uv 'em's light en t'other one is dark.
One is rich en t'other is po'. You's gwyne to marry de po'
one fust en de rich one by en by. You wants to keep 'way
fum de water as much as you kin, en don't run no resk,
'kase it's down in de bills dat you's gwyne to git hung."
(Twain 19). Huck goes home and goes up to his room that
night and Pap is there. 

In Chapter ten, Huck and Jim run into good luck and bad
luck. The good luck was Huck and Jim finds eight dollars in
the pocket of an overcoat. After dinner on Friday, they are
lying in the grass, then Huck ran out of tobacco, so he
went to the craven to get some, and finds a rattlesnake.
Huck kills it and curled it up and put it on the foot of
Jim's blanket. Night came and Jim flung himself on the
blanket and the snake's mate was there, and it bit Jim on
the heel. Jim tells Huck to chop off the snake's head, then
skin the body of the snake and roast a peice of it. He took
the rattles off and tied them to Jim wrist. Jim said it
would help him. Huck says "I made up my mind I wouldn't
ever take a-holt of a snake-skin again with my hands, now
that I see what had come of it." (Twain 52). 

As one can see Superstition plays an important role in the
novel Huck Finn. Huck killing the spider which is bad luck,
the hair-ball that tells fortunes, and the rattle-snake
skin that Huck touched are examples that brought bad luck
to Huck and Jim in the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry


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