Satire in Huckleberry Finn

1820 Words Jan 30th, 2011 8 Pages
Chapters 1-4: Superstition In chapters 1-4 of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Twain's characters tend to get worked up over the silliest of superstitions. In the second chapter, when Huck accidentally flicks a spider into a flame, he, “Was so scared and most shook the clothes off [him]” (Twain 3). He counters the burden that the dead spider will bring by performing plenty of even more odd acts like turning around while crossing his breast and tying up a lock of his hair to ward off the witches. Huck is still anxious because he hadn't been told that any of those counter charms were good for removing the penance of killing a spider. Most superstitions throughout these chapters stem from one person telling another of an …show more content…
Jim, as a slave, is always in fear. He was afraid of Miss Watson's treatment when he lived with her, afraid of being sent to be a plantation worker, and now terrified of being caught as a runaway (Twain 43). This alone is enough to ruin his humanity, not to mention his physical beatings as well. The only thing he has to hold on to are his various superstitions like, “You musn't count the things you are going to cook for dinner, because that would bring bad luck” (Twain 45), and all of the signs and other things he points out. Huckleberry, even though he is very fond of Jim, constantly refers to him as “Miss Watson's Jim” (Twain), reminding the reader that Huck's society was taught that slaves were just property and nothing more. Because of slavery, the southern society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has a lapse in morals by almost all of the whites, actually supports the devastatingly inhumane psychological and physiological treatment of humans, and contains seriously horrible false perceptions and prejudices. Slavery is not really an issue today. It has been abolished for over 100 years now. Although, the fact that (southern) society is functioning much better than it did back then proves that the slave-centered society was not only morally atrocious but also financially weak. The slave owners owned
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