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What are three superstitions in chapter 6-8 of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer?

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atchels | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:01 AM via web

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What are three superstitions in chapter 6-8 of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer?

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krcavnar | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:53 AM (Answer #1)

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In Chapter 6 (page 2 in the enotes copy of text) there are at least three superstitions about getting rid of warts.  One is with dead cats, graveyard and a chant.  You must go to the cemetery after someone "wicked" has been buried and when the devil comes to get them, "you heave your cat after 'em and say, ‘Devil follow corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, I'm done with ye!'".

The second deals with plunging your hand in a stump filled with "spunk water" and chant “Barley-corn, barley-corn, injun-meal shorts, Spunk-water, spunk-water, swaller these warts, “and then walk away quick with your eyes shut and then walk home without speaking to anybody.

Third wart removal technique involves a bean.  “You take and split the bean, and cut the wart so as to get some blood... bury it 'bout midnight at the crossroads in the dark of the moon”. 

Another superstition is "witching" someone.  Huck says that someone"witches"you when they stare and "mumble".  The mumbling is "them saying the Lord's Prayer backward."

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