Please help me with chaper eight in Huckleberry finn..... the question is What does chapter 8 suggest about civilization? Thanks

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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There is a suggestion in this chapter that "white" society is superstitious. This parallels the superstitions that Jim espouses in a following chapter. 

The townspeople send out bread stuffed with quicksilver with the idea that the stuffed bread will go directly to the dead body and stay there. 

They also shoot cannons to raise the body from the water. Notably, Huck also contemplates prayer in this section and imagines the widow at prayer. 

These ideas can all be related to superstition as Huck sees it. 

Importantly, the town is also seen as being compassionate. They collectively search for Huck and collectively mourn him, demonstrating real concern for the lost boy.


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