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iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim proves to be a very superstitious character, as he interprets a variety of signs as omens of both good and bad luck. The most prominent symbol of bad luck for Jim, however, is handling snake skin, an assertion that Huck initially scoffs at. This derision proves unwise, as Huck's handling of snake skin in Chapter Ten (which is appropriately called "What Comes of Handling Snake Skin") ultimately results in a snake biting Jim and infecting him with poison. Now, there's no reason for the reader to necessarily believe that true bad luck is at work in this scenario (although it is an unfortunate turn of events, to be sure); Huck's foolish decision to kill a snake, lay its carcass in Jim's bed, and attract its live mate is more to blame than fate or bad luck. However, this sequence is valuable because it illustrates the superstitious nature of Jim and Huck's society, and so it provides an insightful look into the thought processes of a bygone era in American history. 

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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