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The recurring theme of superstition that is used in Huckleberry Finn.

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Presentation on theme: "The recurring theme of superstition that is used in Huckleberry Finn."— Presentation transcript:

1 The recurring theme of superstition that is used in Huckleberry Finn

2 WHAT IS SUPERSTITION? Merriam-Webster defines superstition as: -A belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust of magic or chance, or a false conception of causation. -An irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition.

3 WHAT DOES IT MEAN? -Superstition is the belief in otherwise illogical instances based on lack of knowledge, fear of unknown situations, trust in magic or luck, etc. -It can also mean an irrational state of mind toward God, nature, or the supernatural based on a superstition.

4 COMMON MODERN SUPERSTITIONS -Spilling salt -Friday the 13 th -Breaking a mirror -Opening up an umbrella indoors -Walking underneath a ladder -Having a black cat cross your path -”God Bless You” -Trick or Treating -Lucky Rabbit’s Foot -Stepping on a crack




8 SUPERSTITIONS IN THE 1800’S -Rocking an empty cradle -Killing a cat -Having cattle wander into your garden -Unmarried woman sitting on a table top -Mirrors and death -Being buried on the north side of a church -Chickens predicting rain -Mending clothes while worn



11 SUPERSTITIONS IN HUCK FINN -Horseshoes -Killing a spider -Spilling salt -Witches -Animals predicting death (owl, whippowill, dog) -Ghosts -Birds and rain -Counting food -Shaking a tablecloth after sundown -Telling bees about the owner dying -Snakeskin



14 “The stars was shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an own, away off, who- whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me and I couldn’t make out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run over me. Then away out in the woods I heard that kind of a sound that a ghost makes when it wants to tell about something that’s on its mind and can’t make itself understood, and so can’t rest easy in its grave and has to go about that way every night grieving.”

15 The belief that witches were running amuck was also prevalent in Huckleberry Finn, in the form of Jim believing that he was bewitched and flown around.

16 MARK TWAIN’S THOUGHTS Mark Twain’s use of superstitions actually outlines his outlook on superstitions in real life. He believes that they can affect even the most mature mind and make it look at something with doubt if it were to question said superstition.


18 WHY DOES TWAIN USE SUPERSTITION? As stated in the video above, Twain may have used superstition to add some humor and differentiating ideas to the story. He may also have added it in order to show how to think in different ways.

19 “Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.” -Edmund Burke “Speculation is perfectly alright, but if you stay there you’ve only founded a superstition. If you test it, you’ve started a science.” -Hal Clement

20 “Ah, yes, superstition: it would appear to be cowardice in the face of the supernatural.” -Theophrastus “I’m a third done into a new book but sorry – I have a superstition about talking about it!” -Joanna Trollope

21 “Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive and irrational – but how much does it cost you to knock on wood?” -Judith Viorst

22 -"Superstition." Merriam-Webster. n.d. Web. 18 Dec ”Superstition.” n.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec -”Superstitions and Psuedo Science.” Google Sites. n.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec ”Popular Superstitions and Their Origins.” Yahoo! Voices. David Brooks, Sep. 10, Web. 18 Dec ”signs of bad luck on friday the 13 th !!!” Blogspot, August 13, Web. 19 Dec ”Commuter Fashion Stick Umbrella-Wooden Shaft and Handle.” Photograph. PCG Stores. 19 Dec ”Cattle and Dairy.” Photograph. Alaska Mill Feed and Garden Center. Alaska Mill Feed and Garden Center. Web. 19 Dec Seven. “Rockin the Cradle, Chillin the Cradle.” Photograph. Music From The Cradle. Music From The Cradle, 20 July Web. 19 Dec Eriksson, J., Larson, G., Gunnarsson, U., Bed’hom, B., Tixier-Boichard, M., Strömstedt, L., Wright, D., Jungerius, A., Vereijken, A., Randi, E., Jensen, P., Andersson, L., Georges, M. (2008). Identification of the Yellow Skin Gene Reveals a Hybrid Origin of the Domestic Chicken.PLoS Genetics, 4(2), e DOI: /journal.pgen /journal.pgen

23 -Virginia H. Cope. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn: Text, Illustrations, and Early Reviews Family of Sites. Virginia H. Cope, Web. 18 Dec -Virginia H. Cope. “Jim and the Snake.” Photograph. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn: Text, Illustrations, and Early Reviews. Virginia H. Cope, Web. 19 Dec "Edmund Burke." Xplore Inc, December "Judith Viorst." Xplore Inc, December "Joanna Trollope." Xplore Inc, December "Theophrastus." Xplore Inc, December "Hal Clement." Xplore Inc, December ”9: Motif 2.” 60 Second Recap. Dimsum Media, Inc., Web. 19 Dec Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ed. Stanley Appelbaum. New York: Charles M. Webster and Company, Print.

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