Fitz's Eighth Grade English
Tom Sawyer E
Superstition Develops Friendships
"Shucks! Witches ain't got no power in the daytime."
"Well, that's so. I didn't think of that. Oh, I know what the matter is!
- Chapter XXV, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.
Superstition may occur in many different ways. In the novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, that statement is proven true. One of the more common superstition types is when it is used to develop friendships. In Chapter 25, Tom and Huck use superstitious beliefs to solve a problem. They prefer to believe that their bad luck in finding treasure is due to witches or not following certain rules of treasure-hunting, that the treasure is where the tree's shadow casts. They begin to look for the tree's shadow in hopes that the treasure is there. Tom and Huck begin to wander around in the dark, cold night. In doing all this, it brings Tom and Huck even closer to each other. Superstition develops friendships.
Everything is more fun if there is a friend there with you. In the novel, friendship plays an important role for Tom and without it, could not survive. Since Tom does not like to be with his family, he needs friends to satisfy his happiness and Joe Harper and Huckleberry Finn fit the role perfectly. In chapter 17, Tom and Huck's friendship in the novel is really explored when they return from the island. As Tom, Joe, and Huck walk through the church doors, everyone is over-joyed that they are still alive. Joe is greeted and embraced by his parents. Tom then sees Aunt Polly and Sid and sprints towards them. As Tom embraces them he looks back and sees Huck all alone. Tom, feeling bad for Huck, invited him over.
"Aunt Polly, it ain't fair. Somebody's got to be glad to see Huck."
"And so they shall. I'm glad to see him, poor motherless thing!" And the loving attentions Aunt Polly lavished upon him were the one thing capable of making him more uncomfortable than he was before.
As shown in this scene, a good friend is like family. That is especially true for Tom and Huck which is displayed in chapter 17. Huck needs Tom as he does not have a family of his own. In their friendship they feed off each other and that is what a friendship should do. The friendship of Tom, Joe, and Huck is all meaningful to each one in different ways. That is why they will be friends until the end.
Friendship is part of superstition which is an important part of life for some, and for others a mere trick. As Tom and Huck try to find a magical cure for warts, they find themselves in the graveyard. Huck brings a cat along with them to ward off the evil spirits. This was just one of the many examples of superstitions in this book.
Aha! Talk about trying to cure warts with spunk-water such a blame fool way as that! Why, that ain't a-going to do any good. You got to go all by yourself, to the middle of the woods, where you know there's a spunk- water stump, and just as it's midnight you back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say: Barley-corn, barley-corn, injun-meal shorts, Spunk-water, spunk-water, swaller these warts.
Superstition for some can be an excuse or conveniently placed thing you want to do. That is what Tom and Huck do in certain parts of the book. Tom and Huck can pick and choose whichever belief suits their needs at the time. Superstition plays many roles in different people's lives and for some, it can be very important.
In the novel, Twain is emphasizing the importance of superstition and how it can develops friendships. He is trying to get across that superstition serves many purposes and he uses experiences with Tom and Huck to emphasize that superstition develops friendships.