Mark Twain's Humorous Satire in Running for Governor

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Overseas English 海 外 英 语
Overseas English 海 外 英 语

Mark Twain's Humorous Satire in Running for Governor
田倩
(宁夏大学 外国语学院,
宁夏 银川 750021)

Abstract: Mark Twain, a mastermind of humor and realism, is seen as a giant in world literature. His humorous satire had great impact on the following men of letters; critics also attached significant importance to it and put forward various interpretations. Noticeably, his humor⁃ ous satire finds full expression in his famous short story, Running for Governor. In it, with humor and satire, he exposed the true features and hypocrisy of American democracy. The paper tries to analyze the basic elements which affected Mark Twain's humorous satire, aiming at offering rational analysis of this humorous satire in Running for Governor as well as making Twain's works readily understood. Key words: Mark Twain; realism; humorous satire; hypocrisy; American 中图分类号:106

I

文献标识码:
A

文章编号: -5039(2012)03-0206-02
1009

1 Introduction

Mark Twain, the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens,
born in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835, is the forerunner and reputed realist in the arena of American literature. He is an American writer and humorist, whose best work is characterized by broad, often irreverent or biting satire. His work is also known for re⁃ alism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression.

Because of his remarkable contributions to the nation, literary critics spoke highly of his achievements. For instance, these venera⁃ ble titles "the Lincoln of American literature", "the true father of our national literature", "Mark Twain—Mirror of American" are used to highlight his pinnacles in literature. Samuel's humor, if only in order to funnily make others laugh, I don't think there would not have such a daimyo—"Mark Twain" on the literary scene in today's world.

Moreover, with his particular creative spirit and rather elegant "people's language", especially his excellent humor and satire, he is deeply praised by American people. Mark Twain wrote many
short stories and these stories profoundly analyze and expose short⁃ comings and ugliness of capitalist society. As for humorous satire, Running for Governor is a representative short story.
The story creates an unreal independent nominee who suffers a series of nasty and shameless slander to expose the hypocrisy of American "Democracy" and the corruption and depravity of the cap⁃ italist system under the guise of American "Democracy". Mark Twain's penetrating and remarkable portray of Bourgeois politicians profoundly reveals the hypocrisy of bourgeois democratic electoral system. Therefore, Running for Governor is an excellent humorous satire works, which is ideological and instructive.

2 Mark Twain's Humorous Satire in Running for
Governor
In Running for Governor, at the beginning of the story, Twain wrote: "A few months ago I was nominated for Governor of the great state of New York, to run against Mr. John T.Smith and Mr. Blank J.

Blank on the independent ticket. I somehow felt that I had one prominent advantage over these gentlemen, and that was—good character."1 Three specific characters appear, "I" is the indepen⁃ dence Party's candidate, who is an upright and honest man with sim⁃ ple thoughts, The Republican candidate Mr. John T.Smith, and the Democratic candidate Mr. Blank J.Blank.

People favor to talk about his usual first-person narrative
method. This narrative method which he was so handy to use that it become a major artistic style he created. It strengthens the ex⁃ change on Twain's thoughts and feelings with the reader's, and make Twain feel freedom to mobilize all language means to gain hu⁃ morous and satirical effects.

In American literature, Twain is not only a great humorist, but also an eminent master who developed a unique style of his own—...
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