The Short Stories of Mark Twain
Mark Twain has composed a myriad of short stories over a long period of time. Twain writes with the passion to charm and amuse the reader. Every single sentence he writes makes one want to keep reading on to see what happens next. His stories also offer a comment on human nature and Twain often questions conventional wisdom. Just because someone’s life did not attach to with what many people see normal, Twain seems to be asking if that makes them lucky when they don’t fail. He responds to that question and challenges the reader to think twice in his short stories. Mark Twain’s stories seem to never be lacking hilariousness. In Luck, for example, he brings out the subject, Lieutenant-General Lord Arthur Scoresby, as a dignified and decorated soldier but then makes a quick turn by quoting the town Reverend saying, “Privately – he’s an absolute fool” (Twain 265). This blunt change allows Twain the chance to recount the tale told by the Reverend concerning Scoresby’s many failures in battle. Additionally, he sets up the reader in The Story of the Bad Little Boy by painting a dreary picture as to what could happen to the main character. Twain then excitedly breaks the ice with an amusing reveal of what actually happened. Twain writes, “Is it right to disobey my mother? Isn’t it sinful to do this? Where do bad little boys go who gobble up their good kind mother’s jam?” and then he didn’t kneel down all alone and promise to never to be wicked any more, no that is the way with all other bad boys in the books… He ate that jam, and said it was bully; and he put in the tar, and said that was bully, also, and laughed, and observed that the old woman would get up and snort” (11). This process of creating a sullen circumstance and then flamboyantly reversing course is depicted in most of Twain’s stories and was used to have a great effect. Mark Twain used humor to thrill the reader, which he did effectively and consistently, but he also used...
Cited: Twain, Mark. The Complete Short Stories. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. Print.
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