Use of Customs, Dialect and Social Status
In "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
Mark Twain's "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is a short story with the lesson that what goes around comes around. In this short story, which first appeared in 1856 and his first successful story, Twain uses local customs of the time, dialect, and examples of social status in his story to create a realistic view of the region in which the story takes place. The way that the characters behave is very distinctive. Dialect is also used to give the reader a convincing impression of the setting in "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". The social status of the main characters in this story also was something that Twain took into account in writing this story. Mark Twain is a realist who concentrates on the customs, dialect, and social status of specific regions of the country. Twain describes local customs and the ways that the characters behave to create a more realistic setting for the story. In the story the characters engage in behavior or activities that would be unusual for a regular person to do. For example, the narrator says: Simon Wheeler backed me into a corner and blockaded me there with his chair, and then sat down and reeled off the monotonous narrative which follows this paragraph. He never smiled, he never frowned, he never changed his voice from the gentle-flowing key to which he tuned his initial sentence
(1190) This quote illustrates the kind of person that Simon was because it shows that he is willing to corner a stranger and tell him a long story that the stranger most likely does not want to hear. Smiley figured out a way to make it so he would win the bet every time when they bet of the frog jumping, by getting the opponents frog drunk beforehand. "He got out the frog and prized his mouth open and took a teaspoon and filled him full of quail-shot"(1191) An interesting custom is the frog-jumping contest...
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