The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County Themes

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Culture Clash

"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," highlights various aspects of late nineteenth-century American society and culture through the retelling of a tall tale. Central to the story is the idea of conflicting cultures, particularly the clash between the settled, eastern portion of the United States and the still-developing West. At the time Twain wrote the story, the East and its inhabitants had a reputation for being civilized, cultured, and advanced. The West, on the other hand, was still being settled and was considered to be populated by a less-educated and less-refined group of people. By extension, Westerners were thought by Easterners to be naive and easily duped.

Twain presents these ideas in his story in various ways. Simon Wheeler, for instance, symbolizes the American Westerner—a garrulous old man who tells tales that are farfetched and highly improbable.

He speaks in monotone, supposedly having no knowledge...

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This section contains 830 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.