Is the following quote an example of Aphorism?Jim mentions in the first quarter of the book some sayings/superstitions about bad luck. I was wondering if the quote below is an Aphorism? " 'Dah,...

Is the following quote an example of Aphorism?

Jim mentions in the first quarter of the book some sayings/superstitions about bad luck. I was wondering if the quote below is an Aphorism?

" 'Dah, now, Huck, what I tell you? - what I tell you up dah on Jackson islan'? I tole you I got a hairy breas', en what's de sign un it; en I tole you I ben rich wunst, en gwineter to be rich agin...doan talk to me - signs is signs, mine I tell you...' " (Twain 243)

This is from Chapter the Last.

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MaudlinStreet's profile pic

MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

I would say no. I think the last part, where Jim says "signs is signs" probably comes closest, but I would be hesitant to identity that as an aphorism. Here's the definition of aphorism from enotes:

Aphorism - a brief, pithy, usually concise statement or observation of a doctrine, principle, truth, or sentiment.

Aphorisms are generally one sentence, and convey some kind of universal truth about human life. They are similar to epigrams and proverbs, and they often provide some kind of advice as well. That's why I've singled out that last bit as a possible example; it's the only part of that quote that comes close to being aphoristic. Here are some other quotes from the novel that come closer:

  • We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all.
  • But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness.
  • All kings is mostly rapscallions.

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