Study Guide

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Supernatural

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The Supernatural

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Belief in the supernatural and superstition in general are the marks of multiple characters in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It’s their mutual belief in certain superstitions that originally draws Huck and Jim together. Neither has a strong religious faith, and their belief in certain superstitions help both Jim and Huck explain things that they cannot otherwise explain. It is possible that the novel parodies religion by comparing it to mere superstition, since some characters take advantage of both belief systems to manipulate and deceive. Often, superstitions are used as attempts to explain why bad things happen. When a character gets rewarded, or when something good happens, most would like to take credit for that positive outcome. But when someone is punished, or something terrible happens...well, it’s a lot more comforting to blame that on plain old rotten luck.

Questions About The Supernatural

  1. Does Twain make religion appear similar to superstition?
  2. Who are the main proponents of superstition in the text? What does it say about them?

Chew on This

Superstition, like religion, is detrimental to those who follow it, mostly because manipulative characters are able use it against them.

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