Mark Twain Writing Styles in The Invalid's Story

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The humor in "The Invalid's Story" manifests itself in two forms, contradictory language and actions, both of which are made ludicrous by the reader's knowledge of the gunbox and cheese. With this knowledge, the reader witnesses two men who fight valiantly against a dairy product—a funny, odd situation. Without this knowledge the reader would believe that the two men are really dealing with a corpse, and the story would not be funny; instead, it would be sad or morbid.

The story's use of language is structured so that it will amuse the reader. For example, after Thompson first begins to notice the smell in the train car, he notes about dead people that "'Sometimes it's uncertain whether they're really gone or not."' He then goes on to explain how he has had a number of cases where people were not really dead, they just seemed...

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This section contains 1,000 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Invalid's Story Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Invalid's Story from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.