Beliefs Systems in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Friday the 13th, black cats, knocking on wood, and breaking a mirror. All these things are superstitions that some live by, others have a more practical system of beliefs, also know as religion. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck explores these two contrasting types of beliefs and realizes that one is ladened with hypocrisy. The literary technique of satire is used highly throughout the book, and adds to the depiction of the south and their morals idea in a very unique way.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written and published in 1844, a time period where racism was still prevailing.Mark Twain uses the Christian religion and superstitions to create a vivid picture of the southern culture. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn portrays the “sivilized” society through Jim’s superstitions, the Christian religion, and Huck's moral decisions.
Jim’s superstitions represent the uneducated and uncivilized people of the south, although they clearly are more correct than many expect. The superstitions seem unrealistic and that would be characterized as ignorant, satanic and foolish. Through the use of satire, it is the exact opposite. These uncivilized superstitions are true, and they are Jim and Huck become to live by, instead of a religion. Jim tells Huck that having a hairy back means that you have wealth in the future.
“Ef you’s got hairy arms en a hairy breas’, it’s a sign dat you’s a-gwyne to be rich. Well, dey’s some use in a sign like dat,’kase it’s so fur ahead. You see, maybe you’s got to be po’a long time fust, en so you might git discourage’en kill yo’sef ‘f you didn’know by sign dat you gwyne to be rich bymeby.” “Have you got hairy arms and a hairy breast, Jim?””What’s de use to ax dat question? Don’t you see I has?””Well, are you rich?””No, but I ben rich wunst, and gwyne to be rich ag’in”(46).
Jim in the end does become wealthy, for he is no longer owned by Mrs. Watson. Besides Jim becoming free from slavery, Jim and Huck also happen to acquire a sum of money throughout their trip down the Mississippi. That superstition is not the only one that becomes true during the novel. Bad luck comes to them through superstitions as well, Huck touches a snake skin, and bad luck doesn’t come their way immediately but just like Jim said bad luck came.
”It did come,too. It was a Tuesday that we had that talk. Well, after dinner Friday we was laying around in the grass at the upper end of the ridge, and got out tobacco. I went to the cavern to get some, and found a rattlesnake in there. I killed him, and curled him up on the foot of Jim’s blanket, ever so natural, thinking there’d be some fun when Jim found him there. Well, by night I forgot all about the snake, and when Jim flung himself down on the blanket while I struck a light the snake’s mate was there, and bit him”(52).
This joke Huck decides on Jim, ends up turning into a life lesson that superstitions will come true, and...