I think I understand what he was trying to do here, but if I could sum this book up in just one word, I would call it strange. The man talks about a horse, about a sick woman, about a dog, and of course, about a jumping frog.
Certainly the tale is moderately amusing, but it seemed to catch the imagination of the American reader, and Twain was to follow it up with equally artful stories and lecture tours which were to make him well known some time before the artistic success of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Part of the reason for the success of the story lies in its moderation, its seeming lack of artfulness. Good-natured, garrulous old Simon Wheeler tells the story to the unsuspecting Mark Twain, who is, in fact, trying to find out about an entirely different man, the Reverend Leonidas W.
What he gets is a rambling, disjointed, ungrammatical tale of Jim Smiley, who sometime back in or had provided the locals with entertainment with his antics as a gambler.
Style is a strong element in the power of the tale. Twain sets himself up as the straight man for the dead-panned raconteur, who, once he gets started, is impossible to stop. Twain the character provides part of the amusement in his indignation.
His letter to A. The style of the first paragraph of the letter has a kind of prim formality about it and the sophisticated facility of an educated writer barely able to suppress his grudging suspicion that he has been made the fool.
This style of fastidious restraint continues, but when Wheeler begins to speak, the prose relaxes into a homey, genial vulgarity and sly wit which immediately establishes the old man as a master teller of tall tales.
Whether the story is true hardly matters; its real power lies in the telling. Twain shows equal skill in the dialogue between Smiley and his supposed victim.
Beyond its technical cleverness, however, the popularity of the story lay in large part in the fact that Twain refrains from patronizing his unlettered inhabitants of Calaveras County. Smiley may have been fooled this time, but he is usually the victor and is likely to rebound.
His proposed victim is to be congratulated on his quickness of mind; Simon Wheeler may be a bit long-winded, but he tells a good story. If anyone is made to look the fool, it is Twain, the aggrieved letter writer, whose proper way with grammar has not made him any less susceptible to a harmless practical joke.
The joke is ultimately on Twain, and he takes it well. It was this kind of happy tomfoolery in the early stories, with the acceptance of rural America as a place not without its own kind of bucolic silliness and occasional quick wit, which readers and audiences liked about the young writer and performer.
The tougher, sharper Twain was yet to come.The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County In compliance with the request of a friend of mine, who wrote me from the East, I called on good-natured, garrulous old Simon Wheeler, and inquired after my friend's friend, Leonidas W.
Smiley, as requested to do, and I hereunto append the result. “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, also known as “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, may be the most widely read “tall tale” in American literature.
In this classic humorous story, Twain relates the fantastic story of a notorious gambler known as Jim Smiley and his talented jumping frog. “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” is a short story published in by Mark Twain.
It was his first big success and brought him wider recognition. In the story, the narrator retells a story that he heard from a bartender, Simon Wheeler. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain.
Home / Literature / The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Smiley starts to educate a frog so that it can beat other frogs at jumping. One day, Smiley starts educating a frog that he names Dan’l Webster.
Wheeler is interrupted from his story-telling. When Wheeler is interrupted. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, short story by Mark Twain, first published in a New York periodical, The Saturday Press in The narrator of the story, who is searching for a Reverend Leonidas Smiley, visits the long-winded Simon Wheeler, a miner, in hopes of learning his whereabouts.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County has 5, ratings and reviews. Paul said: A three part book - Twain's original story, a French transl /5.