Essay on Superstition in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Essay by imacrackhead247High School, 11th gradeA, November 2002

download word file, 3 pages 3.0


Superstition is a recurring motif in the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Superstition is defined as "an irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome." In this book, most of the superstitions that are mentioned are negative but some are positive or neutral.

The first example of a negative superstition takes place at Hannibal, Missouri when Huck flicks a spider off his shoulder and it gets burned in a candle's flame. That was a sign of bad luck, so Huck counteracts the bad luck by turning around three times and then he ties a lock of hair with thread to keep the witches away.

There are number of examples of superstitions mentioned in chapter eight. After Huck leaves Jackson Island and goes to the Illinois shore he meets Jim. Some young birds fly over them in a formation and Jim tells Huck that it is a sign of rain.

This is a neutral example of a superstition. Negative examples of superstitions mentioned in the chapter are when Huck wants to catch one of the birds but Jim tells him not to because catching a bird causes death. Jim also says not to count the things that are going to be cooked and not to shake the tablecloth after sundown because they bring bad luck.

A positive example in chapter eight is when Jim tells Huck that having hairy arms and a hairy chest means that the person is going to be rich. Huck notices that Jim has Hairy arms and a hairy chest so he comments on it. Jim tells Huck that he used to be rich because he used to have $14. A negative example is when Jim tells Huck that if a man owns...