Superstitions in Huckleberry Finn

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Mark Twain is one of America’s best-known authors. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, addresses a variety of ideas that create conflict with each other. He does this through the character of Huck Finn. Huck experiences all these conflicting ideas throughout the novel, all the while he attempts to find his own idea of freedom in, at the time and currently, a conflicted nation. The thematic thread that holds all of the text together is superstition.

Superstition is defined as a “belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of a causation.” Superstitions have been around since the beginning of time and are still around today. They control people’s mindset for the future and they influence their decisions. In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the author uses superstition to mock human fear and ignorance, and to offer humor to the story. He does this in serious situations in order to humor the audience and lighten the mood. The superstitions Twain presented in the novel relate to modern-day superstitions because similar meanings lie behind them.

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“Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn’t need anybody to tell me that that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every time; and then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away” (Twain 3). This relates to the theme due to the beginning of the story when Twain addressed the superstitions of the characters due to how they were raised and their culture.

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