Freddy Pusey Period 3 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn What would it be like to be a runaway slave, and the only beliefs that one has are of superstition? Jim, a character in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is a runaway slave who is trying to escape from slavery. Using the character Jim, Mark Twain makes continuous references to superstitious beliefs of the nineteenth century South. In Jim’s point of view, superstition has an influence on all things. One superstitious way that Jim views the world is that he believes there is a sign for all things that happen in nature. “Some young birds come along, flying a yard or two at a time and lighting.
Jim said it was a sign that it was going to rain” (Twain 52).
This is an example of one of Jim’s superstitious views. Jim looks at the birds and can tell that it is going to rain. Since there were no weather devices in the eighteen hundreds, signs like these were used to predict the weather. Another superstitious way that Jim looks at the world has to do with things being bad luck.
One time that Jim shows this superstition is in this quote, “After Breakfast I wanted to talk about the dead man and guess how he come to be killed, but Jim didn’t want to. He said it would fetch bad luck” (Twain 58).
Another time that Jim talks about bad luck is “And he said handling a snakeskin was such awful bad luck that maybe we hadn’t got to the end of it yet. He said he dr uther see the new moon over his left shoulder as much as a thousand times than take up a snakeskin in his hand” (60).
Throughout all of his adventures Jim shows compassion as his most prominent trait. He makes the reader aware of his many superstitions and Jim exhibits gullibility in the sense that he Jim always assumes the other characters in the book will not take advantage of him. One incident proving that Jim acts naive occurs halfway through the novel, when the Duke first comes into the scene 'By right I am ...
Another time when bad luck is being mentioned is in this passage, “And Jim said you mustn’t count the things you are going to cook for dinner, because that would bring bad luck. The same if you shook the tablecloth after sundown” (52) One form of superstition that Jim talks about is one thing having a sign for something else. Jim tells one example of this when he says, “Ef you’s got hairy arms en a hairy break’, it’s a sign dat you’s a-gain to be rich” (Twain 52).
This quote shows that Jim believes that if you have hairy arms and a hairy breast, then you will be rich. Twain shows how people used to believe that some things were signs that showed that something was going to happen.
In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the character Jim believes in many different forms of superstition. These superstitions act as guidelines to how Jim lives his life. Furthermore, the character Jim shows the reader many examples or the superstitious beliefs of the South in the 1800 s.