Mark Twain saturates the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, with many examples of superstition and myths. These aspects of the novel help the story progress, provide entertainment, and help the story identify with the time. The most important reason for the superstition and the rituals that come along with them is that they are one of the main reasons for the adventure in the first place. There are many examples throughout the story of superstition, from the spider in the candle to the rattlesnake skin and the hairball.
One of the first examples of superstition is a simple thing that carried some of the biggest consequences. One morning, I happened to turn over the saltcellar at breakfast. I reached for some of it as quickly as I could to throw over my left shoulder and keep off the bad luck. However, Miss Watson was ahead of me and crossed me off. This is an example of how every superstition has a ritual to remove bad luck. Huck was not satisfied with what the widow had done for him. He says, The widow put in a good word for me, but that wasn’t going to keep off the bad luck. I knew that well enough.”
This fear of bad luck was accompanied by seeing his father’s shoe prints in the snow, so Huck knew he had to do something. What Huck ended up doing was going to Miss Watson’s slave, Jim, who had a magical hairball. When Huck went to find out what the hairball could tell him, Jim told Huck that the hairball needed money to tell his fortune. However, all Huck had was a counterfeit quarter.
Jim managed to make it work though by sticking it inside a potato to fool the hair-ball. What the hair ball ended up telling them is this: Yoole fathedoan know yit what hes a gwyne to do. Sometimes he spec hell go way, en den agin hespec hell stay. De bes way is tores easy enlet so ole man take his own way. Deys two angels hoverin roun bout him. One uvems light en tother one is dark.”
One is rich and the other is poor. You’re going to marry the poor one first and the rich one later. You want to stay away from trouble as much as possible and not take any risks because it’s been said that you’re going to get hung. Without these cases of bad luck, Huck’s father might have never shown up and there would be no reason to leave. So without superstition, there would be no adventure. Book Reports.