Some say that superstition is an impractical way of looking at life but the characters in Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn beg to differ. Examples of superstition are abundant throughout the novel. Allowing characters in a novel to have superstitions makes their lives more realistic and the reading more enjoyable. Huck and Jim’s superstitions cause them grief, help them get through, and sometimes get them into trouble in their lengthy runaway journey. Although both of these characters tend to be quite rational, they quickly become irrational when anything remotely superstitious happens to them. Superstition plays a dual role: it shows that Huck and Jim are child-like in spite of their otherwise …show more content…
He listened closely “me-yow! me-yow!”(6), this was, sure enough Tom’s call to him. Huck jumps down to meet his friend. This superstition gives the reader a first insight to Huck. The superstition is somewhat childish and belief in the reality of witches shows that Huck has a long way to go before maturation.
In the fourth chapter Huck sees Pap's footprints in the snow. So Huck goes to Jim to ask him why Pap is there. 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. The counterfeit quarter allows the reader to ponder the thought that Jim and Huck are superstitious, yet they still cheat the superstition like it doesn’t exist. Almost as if being superstitious is such a normal attribute that Huck and Jim don’t know they’re superstitious. Jim puts the quarter under the hair-ball. The hair-ball talks to Jim and Jim repeats it back to Huck. "Yo'ole father doan' know yit what he's a-gwyne to do" (19). Jim tells Huck that he’s going to have many troubles in his life, but also considerable joy. Also, that he’s going to get sick, but always recover healthy and that he’s going to marry first a poor woman, then a rich one. If a person knows, or think they know how their life is going to turn out life can go two ways: they could come to a
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
Through out this novel, Huck and Jim show there ways of superstition. They both have different beliefs. Huck only believes that when he uses his superstition it is only for a good reason. However, Jim's superstition is very strong and can't live without it. In chapter 1, Huck shows he is superstitious when he flicks the spider off his shoulder, it ends up falling in a candle and lighting it. Huck then stood up and went back in his tracks three times and crossed his breast every time. Huck then tied up a little piece of his hair with a thread to keep the witches away, “Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up”(3). This makes Huck’s view of superstition very visible. Huck tends to believe things out of fear when something awful is about to happen. Like for instance, in chapter 4, Huck wants to throw salt over his shoulder because he thinks that some of the "bad Luck" will stop following them. During this, Miss Watson, his owner, was there to stop him and tell him that it won't help him one bit, “One morning I happened to turn over the salt-cellar at breakfast.
In Chapter 8 when Huck finds Jim, who escaped from Miss Watson because she was going to sell him down the river. That evening Jim exposes Huck to his knowledge of superstition. Some young birds flew by, and Jim said that it was a sign that it was going to rain. Huck wanted to go catch some of them, but Jim said that if he did that then it would mean death. Jim also said that you mustn’t count that things you are going to have for dinner, or it would bring bad luck, it was also bad luck if you shook the tablecloth after sundown. And if a man had a beehive and that man died the bees must be told about it before sun-up the next morning, or they would die. “Jim said bees won’t sting idiots; but I didn’t believe that, because I had tried them lots of times myself, and they wouldn’t sting me”.
Along with Huckleberry’s questioning of heaven and hell in the first chapter, his superstitions come to the forefront. Some examples of Huck's superstitions are in his interpretation of the night sounds as death, and in how he believes the spider burning to death in the flame of his candle is an omen of bad luck. After accidentally killing the spider, Huck attempts a to prevent the bad luck from happening. (I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my
Widow Douglas is a who takes care of Huck, she is a nice woman who loves and treats him like her son. Huck’s response to the Moses story is changes because in the beginning he was very interested in it and he wanted to know more about Moses until Widow Douglas revealed that Moses had been dead the whole story. After that Huck stopped caring for Moses and his story. What this tells the reader about Huck is that he doesn’t like when things end in death.
In Chapter ten, Jim and Huck are arguing and somehow Jim says that it is bad luck to touch a snakeskin with your hands. Huck didn’t believe Jim because they have found money in an overcoat they took, then Jim say that Huck is going to get it very soon. Jim knew that karma is coming towards pretty soon, then another snake comes up from behind and bites Jim right on the feet while sleeping. This gave reasons to believe in superstition, because of Huckleberry Finn touching the snakeskin that he got bit by a snake. Jim is a very superstitious human being and in the novel Jim predicts another superstition. Jim predicts that it will rain from seeing birds’ jumping what Huck says is that he will catch a small bird. Jim said it was death, he said that his father laid mighty sick one time, and some of them caught some birds, and his granny said his father would come to his death, which in the end he did.
In the story, Jim is a runaway slave. Because many unfair things happen to slaves, superstition plays a more prevalent role in Jim’s life. Jim uses superstitions to justify unfortunate events that happen to him, just accepting what had happened rather than investigating. In Chapter 10, Huck handles a snakeskin and Jim warns Huck that it would cause them bad luck. Later on, Huck finds another rattlesnake. Once Huck had killed the snake, he put it in the bottom of Jim’s blanket, searching for a good laugh when Jim found it. It eventually attracted another snake that bit Jim when he crawled in. Huck never told Jim that he put the dead snake in his blanket. Jim then scolded Huck about handling the snake skin earlier “Jim said he reckoned I would believe him next time. And he said that
A. After finding a few books and other valuables from the Walter Scott, Jim and Huck decide to stay in the forest for the night before traveling. While reading stories of kings and dukes, Jim brings up King Solomon and talks about how foolish he was for wanting to cut his baby in half. But Huck believes he was wise just because the widow told him so.
But to Huck, he can see what he has done and does not want to take chances with it. The factor that appeals to Huck when it comes to the difference of religion and superstition is that with superstition, he can see what he is believing. Huck is a young child and does not know how to understand anything that is of higher
In addition, these superstitions provide freedom from the restraints of civilization, but also bear their own dangers as omens are an acknowledgement of death (Hoffman 331). Despite this harrowing reflection, the omens that Jim teaches to Huck are important in developing Huck as a person and a character. Jim is the most potent source for superstition in the novel, and while some beliefs appear a bit ludicrous, they hold a somewhat real prophecy. An example of this is when Huck carelessly touches a snakeskin, which is one of the worst things to do according to Jim, and introduces a world of bad luck to Jim and himself on their little raft. These omens have a direct role on the plot by heralding dangerous episodes and by teaching Huck said omens, Jim is Huck’s mentor and guide on this treacherous journey towards freedom (Brownell). Being removed from society on the Mississippi, Huck has the time and space to think for himself with the influences of people such as religious Miss Watson and romantic Tom Sawyer. Religion itself is a massive shackle on Huck and he is already averse to it due to the bizarre nature of biblical verses and simply being forced into religion by Miss Watson. Jim as well does not have a strong religious faith and instead places his confidence in his superstitions, which brings back the aforementioned point of superstition drawing Huck and Jim together. They use superstitions to make sense of the world, even if it does not make any. This demonstrates Twain’s derisive tone towards religion by coinciding the ridiculousness of superstition with the equally ridiculous notion of religion itself as it may be viewed in the eyes of an
Huck and Jim, both, believe in superstitions. However the nature and extent to which they have come to believe these superstitions differ vastly. For instance, Huck’s superstitions are more common and well known, such as: throwing salt over ones shoulder if one were to spill some and if someone were to touch a snake they would bring bad luck upon themselves. Whereas, Jims superstitions are more practical and have actually come true. Some of his superstitions include: if two chickens fly into a yard simultaneously then that
Nevertheless, Twain’s references reflect his limited and immature view of faith. While Huckleberry is portrayed as a realist who often seems to be logical and rational with his views and thoughts, however, Huck’s beliefs on superstitions are no better than his views on religion. Although to Huck, superstitions are a more accurate way to read the world, however, it seems ironic and hypocritical of Mark Twain to add those elements into Huck’s realist character. Additionally, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huckleberry reads “bad signs” into everything. For instance, one time when a spider burned in a candle, Huck was extremely worried about the outcomes he could possibly face.
One of the key themes of these adventures is superstition, as it intertwines with religion with the story’s progression From the very beginning of the story superstition is an enormous part though Huck and Jim have different views on it. Huck, being the practical character he is, does not believe in such things or anything he cannot see for that matter. This belief only is confirmed later when they are going through the things they got from the floating house and he says “what did you say when I fetched that snake skin? You said it was the worst bad luck to touch a snake skin.
Huck and Jim run away from Miss Watson houses. Jim is a runaway slave aftering hearing her would be sold and separated from his family, while Huck runs away from his deadbeat father. Although society thinks it is wrong to help Jim, Huck promises him he won't tell anyone about Jim and will help him. Jim and Huck talk about superstitions while on the island, but after hearing people are looking for Jim they decide to travel down the Mississippi River on a raft. Huck and Jim’s friendship grows as Jim protects Huck from seeing his dead father in the house that floats buy on the river. On many adventures down the river, Huck realized Jim cares about him and Huck cares about Jim and a “brotherhood” forms. When Huck goes to find Jim, after two men