Theme Of Superstition In Huckleberry Finn

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Superstition is a major theme in the novel, Huckleberry Finn. The use of superstition is used in a wide variety of ways. This use ranges from religious superstitions in the beginning of the novel to the superstition of witches in the end of the novel. The author, Mark Twain, toes the line between reality and fantasy by employing superstitions. Most of the characters are strong believers in superstitions; therefore, the characters can often become irrational in fear of something that may or may not exist. This is most prevalent with African Americans in the novel who often let superstitions control their lives and their ways of thinking. Superstitions are used in the novel to manipulate characters into doing things that they otherwise would not do.

Superstition is used throughout the novel; however, Twain uses superstition the most in the beginning of the book. Twain writes, "There was a cross in the left boot-heel made with big nails, to keep off the devil." (Twain, 17). Twain includes this section to highlight
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The ending of Huckleberry Finn also contains superstition. Twain writes, "Nat he only just hollered "Witches" once, and keeled over onto the floor amongst the dogs, and begun to groan like he was dying." (Twain, 240). African Americans were easily influenced because of their superstitions. Huck and Tom convince Nat that they are not even in the room when they are standing right in front of him. Adding to this, Twain writes, "Oh, it 's de dad-blame ' witches, sah, en I wisht I was dead, I do." (Twain, 228). Nat proclaims he would rather be dead then simply encounter a witch. The boys know this and get Nat to do whatever they want because of it. Huck says, "The more I studied about this the more my conscience went to grinding and the more wicked and low down and ornery I got to feeling." (Twain, 204). Twain includes this use of superstition to show the divide within Huck. Huck believes that his conscience is going to persuade him to do the

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