| The Notorious Jumping Frog Of Calaveras County| By Mark Twain| | Cardette. Fleming| 10/31/2011| | The Notorious jumping frog of Calaveras County Is a tall tale written about humorous characters and gifted animals, It’s very funny and off the cuff. Of course it’s an ridiculous story, but the characters are so recognizable and thus agreeable and the tone so down home shucks friendly that it irresistible. The names are a stitch Smiley, Leonidas W. Smiley and Dan Webster. This story setting takes place in a booming gold mining town called Angel’s Camp in California.
One of the story main characters is a career gambler, Jim Smiley, a local and as the name suggests is an optimistic who had been enjoying his winning streak with all his gifted animals. Smiley had this special group of f animals like the sickly mule always won the race, the dog was a genius and the frog had been educated to jump the farthest. The exaggerated skills and names of these animals is what bring humor and personalities to this story. Well I don’t think Smiley was a gambling addict I just think this was a hobbies to him.
Unfortunately, Daniel Webster, his gifted frog, could not warn Smiley in a time of crisis, because his mouth was full of quail-shot and he could not speak. Smiley was naive and let his guard down when he left his trained jumping frog with a stranger. Now why would Smiley do such a thing? Could it be that he was so eager to gamble that he would trust his educated frog with a stranger. All along the stranger pretends to be gullible and the cheats Smiley by weighting down Daniel Webster.This was a big mistake that left Smiley dumbfounded and Daniel a victim.
A competition that Smiley bet on with confidence but Daniel Webster lost when it was his time to show off his education. By the time Smiley could realize that something was wrong and what the stranger had done to Daniel he was furious and tried to catch the deceitful stranger. The con artist had left Smiley‘s wallet lighter and Daniel heavy as a brick. Smiley had met his match and learned a valuable lesson the hard way. He had gamble one too many time.He had been trusting to a stranger with his gifted possession and proved to be very gullible. This story is written as one story is within another story.
At first it may seem confusing and almost childish. But upon more exploration, the story has deeper meaning. Simon Wheeler, a local in a tavern now becomes the main narrator and has some exaggerated stories about Jim Smiley and his gifted animals.
Simon delivered the tall tales and Smiley enjoys his gambling games. This is something that keeps this story humorous and engaging.If you visualize and try to understand the setting the people and the customs you will begin to feel the emotions of each character. Realism was the main style of literature after the Civil War and the Jumping frog was written in 1865 while the Wild West was being populated and the writing about everyday characters and the particular situations they encountered. Realism is represented through this story by gambling, Jim Smiley trusts the stranger with his frog and while his back is turned the stranger cheats. Smiley lost the race because of the stranger deceitfulness.In this story Mark Twain uses extensive exaggeration to blow scenes out of proportion and make them funny, geographic dialect of the west to help capture the local color and amusing characters that seem serious and use made up words to add that final touch of humor. Works Cited Bellamy, Gladys Carmen.
Mark Twain as a Literary Artist. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1950. Twain, Mark. the notorious jumping frog.. N. p.
, n. d. Web. 29 Oct 2011. Miller, Robert Keith. Mark Twain. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, 1983.