The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County Essay

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Smith is an educator, editor, and poet. In the following essay, he discusses how Simon Wheeler is a "vernacular" hero with many qualities of a "trickster," and how the story is a satiric piece of literature, rather than simply a clever tale.

Mark Twain's "Jumping Frog" has been at the center of a critical controversy in recent years. This controversy focuses on one major question. Is the story satiric, with Simon Wheeler as a deadpan trickster making fun of the narrator, or is it simply a wild yarn told by a mindless yokel? Interpretations and claims for the story have varied widely. Some have argued that the "Jumping Frog" is the summation of Twain's faith in frontier democracy, while others have held that it is no more than an amusing story, told in an "exquisitely absurd" manner. A close examination of the structure and the component parts of...

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This section contains 1,464 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County Study Guide
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