The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

By Mark Twain

Unanswered Questions

Was there a hidden agenda to this short story ?

– From the beginning we see a couple of things going on first, a man from the east who is now in west at a mining camp and receives a letter from a friend who is from the east. In the letter it tells him that he should inquire information about a certain Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley and that man named Simon Wheeler was said to have the information necessary. Upon meeting Simon Wheeler we see many we are exposed to a man asleep at the back of a old bar. Our first character from the west is a possible drunk. As Simon Wheeler blockades our narrator in a corner he starts to tell a story about Jim Smiley not Leonidas W. Smiley who our narrator was looking to get information about to begin with. The story then shifts from the our narrator speaking who spoke with a clear and educated manner to Simon Wheeler speaking. There is a noticeable difference in the way Simon Wheeler speaks and the way our narrator speaks. Simon Wheeler the only person we have encountered from the west up to this point and speaks as if he is uneducated. When Simon Wheeler stops talking we see that the style of writing changes back to the very well written spoken language. At the end of the story when our narrator realizes he has been had he quickly tries to escape, upon leaving Simon Wheeler starts to go into another tall tale about Jim Smiley. At this point , frustrated, our narrator leaves.

– What was Mark Twain trying to say about people from the West Vs people form the east. Did he think that western miners were some what more uneducated than there counterparts from the east ? Where they all just lazy drunks? Why did the style of writing changed as we changed characters what was it’s significance? Was Mark Twain calling everyone on the west coast dumb Or was this just a short story that shouldn’t be looked into more than a short story?

– Twain in the 1860’s left the east in search of striking gold or silver in the west. Was this story written from his perspective, with Twain being the educated visitor from the east and his view of the people he encountered in the west?

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