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Superstition in Huck Finn Essay

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Superstitious Times

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
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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
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