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Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

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Introduction

“Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain is a story that was first published in 1865. It was later published as “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” and was one of his earliest writings. This piece helped the author to establish his reputation as a humorist. This essay is aimed at providing a reaction/response to the book in terms of how humorous it is, while keeping in mind how the author is celebrated as compared to other writers in the late 19th century and early 20th century (Mark, 1997).

To begin with, “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” or simply the story of the jumping frog is a story that was told to Mark which he subsequently wrote down and later published. It can also be termed as a short parable about an individual who cannot stop betting. The story also talks about the eventual defeat by trickster. I must admit that the story is full of humor, and it is brought out nicely through the author. This was a story that at a given time was translated for French magazine featuring American humorist. In fact, when the author saw the translation, he was upset due to the fact that he felt that such translation did not convey the essence of humor from the original story.

For the author to prove his point, he then decided to look at French-English dictionary and then made the move of translating the French story back into English language. Actually, what he came up with were run-on sentences that merely resembled his original story. The author then concluded that the translation of the story in French lacked  understanding and the translator merely got the context and the original sense of humor of this story.

Basically, after reading all the three versions of the story, I realized that the author was true to affirm that each language had its own structure and idioms. Twain’s story indicates that he was tricked by a friend into conversing with a gentleman known as Simon Wheeler, a person with the tendency of rambling. The narrator also gets some hints from the story of Jim Smiley, who is a chap that likes betting on anything and is usually optimistic of winning. Smiley also believes that he is in a position of beating any challenger with his well-trained frog.

The story is brilliant not only because of the plot itself but rather in regards to the manner in which author manages to influence the reader. As much as the story is a fairly standard trickster getting tricked folktale, Twain produces laughs through the use of his characters and style in which the story is told. In what I can refer to hyperbolic also helps the narrator to paint his story. The style that the narrator decides to employ in his story is basically an oral tradition tale of the American frontier (Mark, 1997).

The author’s use of complex characters and sophisticated narrative style proves him as the best and controlled writer whose roots were taken from the classical Southwestern frame story. However, to some extent the story is purely his. The proper use of satire is a style of a typical frontiersman. In that regard, the immediate response to Twain’s story is almost utterly positive. Even though, Twain was not comfortable with the immediate reputation of a “western humorist”, he did his best to ensure that the story compels many people. This indeed helped him gain a reputation in western literature. He eventually achieved and realized that public acceptance to any sort of writing is important.

In further analysis of the story, it becomes clear that the story marks a transition in Twain’s development as a writer. It is acceptable that the seeds of his later genius were clearly found in his previous writings. Twain is a representation of western sensibility because of his successive tales that reveal him as a good narrator. There are various circumstances in Twain’s life that occasioned his writing of tales to appear satirical, humorous, and other literary techniques that he employed in his later works. The “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” brings out Twain as a renowned true American writer with true American values and more so indicates how Twain’s genius unfolds.

Conclusion

It is evident that Mark Twain is a great story teller, imaginative, and humorous. He is also a writer who is capable of making a wonderful writing out of a little story, as we can see from this particular one about “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. This is a humorous story of a man who had a frog that can jump higher than any other. He bets with a sly man and then goes to catch a frog for the man and the sly man filled the “Celebrated Jumping Frog” with quail shot thus making the frog unable to move. This is a very funny incident in the story and the author uses very heavy southern accent to narrate the story, thus making it difficult to understand; however, it is still humorous. Finally, Twain's work did not only entertain\, but it also entailed comments on social morals, human nature and politics.

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