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Mark Twain - The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County - Literature review Example

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The paper "Mark Twain - The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" analyzes a plain folk tale into an artistic short story. The author highlights the local customs and the ways that the characters act, explaining their significant qualities, the importance of names, and political implications…
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Extract of sample "Mark Twain - The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"

Download file to see previous pages But the primary charm of the story still lies in its folk elements. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is a short story with the message that what goes around comes around. In his first successful story, Mark Twain uses a local dialect, customs of the time, and patterns of social status to create a reasonable view of the area in which the narrative takes place. The way that the characters act is very unique. Characteristic dialect is also used to provide the reader with a convincing sense of the background in the story. The public status of the key characters in Jumping Frog of Calaveras County also was something that Twain take into consideration in writing this story. The story of Jumping Frog is Twain's anti-narrative. In fact, epistemological frustration begins as early as the sketch's initial frame, which consists of Twain's letter to a friend, who has requested him to find out about Leonidas W. Smiley. In this opening letter, Twain warns the reader that what follows will be a story filled with epistemological roadblocks: "I called on good-natured, garrulous old Simon Wheeler, and I enquired after your friend Leonidas W. Smiley, as you requested me to do, and I hereunto append the result." In effect, the tables are turned on both Twain (the narrator) and the reader in the second frame of the story, in which Wheeler does all the talking, though he makes little sense. In that second frame. Twain begins by telling how he found Wheeler "dozing comfortably by the bar-room stove of the little old dilapidated tavern in the ancient mining camp of Boomerang"; as Twain tells it when he asked about Smiley, Wheeler "backed me into a corner and blockaded me there with his chair—and then sat down and reeled off the monotonous narrative" about a man named Jim Smiley, who was no relation to the aforementioned Leonidas W. Smiley. Wheeler's tale of Jim Smiley forms the body of the text, where each example is wilder and more exact. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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