Symbolism of snakes
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Snakes are a symbol of danger and foreboding in the novel from the very beginning. Huck's handling of a snakeskin is often referred to as the source of his and Jim's bad luck. Jim is scared of snakes, as shown when Tom tells him that he must keep a rattlesnake as a pet when he is at the Phelps.' It is no wonder that Jim is afraid of snakes, since he is bitten by a rattlesnake when he and Huck are on Jackson's Isle, and goes through hellish conditions while healing. Jim knows bad luck when he sees it, but Huck doesn't, and so, Huck's attitude towards snakes is more one of curiosity and adventure. At the Grangerfords', Huck's servant tells him that he should go look at some water moccasins (a kind of snake), which symbolize the growing danger of the blood feud, and the immanent death of some of the Grangerford men.