There are many superstitions especially relating to animals in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. One major animal that was associated with a few superstitions is the snake. Superstition has always associated snakes with “fear and respect and some cultures have even credited the serpent with various supernatural powers” The snake has more superstitions based on it than any other animal. Many of these superstitions come from Kentucky. A lot of the things that will supposedly happen because of snakes are negative. It includes bringing bad luck, poisoning you, killing your cattle, and killing you. It almost seems as though snakes are so bad that one learns caution through them.
This is the significance in the book, Huckleberry “takes no stock” in the superstitions of touching snake skin, and he causes Jim to be severely injured and handicapped for four days. He doesn’t think anything will happen until he leaves a dead snake carcass where Jim sleeps as a joke. Jim is bitten by its mate who has come to the body, and is badly bitten. It is now that Huckleberry believes in the superstitions and doesn’t question Jim when he tells him to cut the head of the snake and throw the bodies, but first roast a piece for him to eat. He also cuts off the rattles for Jim which should help him get better. He even says “I wouldn’t ever take a-holt of a snake-skin again w/ my hands” proving that he had been scared into a more cautious, and not so skeptical.
Thomas, Daniel & Lucy. “Animals, Birds, Reptiles, Insect Superstitions. Part 8.”Animals, Birds, Reptiles, Insect Superstitions. Part 8. N.p., 11 Nov. 2012. Web. 21 Dec. 2012.
G, Dana. “Snake Myths, Superstitions, & Old Wives Tales.” My East Texas. N.p., 26 July 2011. Web. 21 Dec. 2012.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Random House, 1996. Print