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 5).
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 Finn.