spider superstitions

common superstitions

Halloween Superstitions
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Mark Twain clearly expresses his use of humor in Huckleberry Finn. A little friendly advice, whatever you do, don't read this wiki while holding a dead rattle snake skin, or you'll end up like Jim! These are only a few examples, if you want all of them you'll have to read the book!

Superstition: "Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn't need anybody to tell me that that was bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every time; and then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away. But I hadn't no confidence. You do that when you've lost a horseshoe that you've found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but I hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off bad luck when you'd killed a spider."

(Huckleberry Finn: Chapter I: Discover Moses and the Bulrushers)

Analysis: Huckleberry is at the widow's home and a spider drops on him. Out of fear, Huck swipes the spider right into a candle and kills it. Twain uses foreshadowing in the first chapter to explain that bad events are about to occur.

"Kill a spider, bad luck yours will be
Until of flies you've swatted fifty-three.
Superstitious people probably don't kill spiders because it has been unlucky since a spider spun a web over baby Jesus to hide him from Herod."

(Herod was the one responsible for the execution of John the Baptist. According to the New Testament (Luke 23:7), Pilate sent Jesus to be questioned by him before he was crucified.)

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Superstition: "Afterwards Jim said the witches bewitched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees again and hung his hat on a limb to show who done it."

(Huckleberry Finn: Chapter 2: Our Gang's Dark Oath)

Analysis: Mark Twain mocks people for their fascination with the unknown by showing a startled Jim trying to explain what happened to his hat. It may also be a disguised attempt at religious beliefs.

Superstitious: Stevie Wonder


Very superstitious, writing's on the wall
Very superstitious, ladders bout' to fall
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands
Rid me of the problem, do all that you can
Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin' strong
You don't wanna save me, sad is my song

When you believe in things that you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way, yeh, yeh
Very superstitious, nothin' more to say

Very superstitious, the devil's on his way
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass
Seven years of bad luck, good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way, no, no, no


Wow!
30/30