The Invalid's Story Essay

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Poquette has a bachelor's degree in English and specializes in writing about literature. In the following essay, Poquette discusses Twain's use of shifting points of view and expressive descriptions to create a magnified humorous effect in Twain's story.

Mark Twain was a master when it came to employing various writing techniques for humorous effects. This is definitely true in "The Invalid's Story," a tale that while funny, was almost universally panned by Twain's contemporary critics for its in-depth treatment of death smells—which was considered an exercise in poor taste. However, as E. Hudson Long suggests in his Mark Twain Handbook, Twain had gotten used to writing such "bawdy" tales, which "had been too enthusiastically greeted by his readers" in the Western United States, so the author probably did not "realize entirely that such things might give offense."

Long further notes that Twain was adept at knowing...

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This section contains 1,827 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Invalid's Story Study Guide
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The Invalid's Story from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.