In the first few chapters of Huckleberry Finn, we can see traces of satirical elements begin to emerge from within the story. The very first satirical scene occurs after Tom plays a trick on Jim, Miss Watson's slave. Huck goes on to describe how Jim reacts to finding his hat hung on a limb above his head. "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." This note that Huck makes may have served a humorous purpose during older times, when Blacks were stereotypically superstitious. This also shows Jim's gullibility and is referred to later on in the story.
In the first eleven chapters of the story, the only evident character and element in the story being satirized is Jim and the simple stereotypes of an African American living in Finn's and Clemens' time. Jim is once again satirized in chapter ten, where he is bitten after Huck places a dead snake near his blanket. Jim, being superstitious, chides Huck after he touches a snakeskin earlier in the story. Huck ignores this and places a dead snake at the foot of Jim's blanket one night and Jim gets bitten in the foot by the dead snake's mate. This portion of the book once again satirizes Jim's superstition and adds to the element of humor in the story by describing the treatment that Jim applies to his foot after he is bitten. "He was barefooted, and the snake bit him right on the heel. That all comes of my being such a fool as to not remember that whenever you leave a dead snake its mate always comes there and curls around it. Jim told me to chop off the snake's head and throw it away, and then skin the body and roast a piece of it. I done it, and he eat it and said it would help cure him. He made me take off the rattles and tie them around his wrist, too. He said that that would help."
By showing a superstitious African American in the... [continues]
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"Huck Finn." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Huck-Finn-7310.html.