Mark twain[1]

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Information about Mark twain[1]

Published on March 19, 2014

Author: deceptivelyblonde



A presentation on the life, times, and work of Mark Twain as part of an analysis of "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"

Mark Twain

CHILDHOOD  SAMUEL CLEMENS  Born November 30, 1835 in Florida, Monroe County, Missouri  Shortly afterwards moved to Hannibal, Missouri (right beside the Mississippi River)  Experiences of his childhood such as his friendships, his family‟s slaves, and even the river itself would influence his writings

END OF CHILDHOOD…  At age 11, his father died  Began working as an apprentice for a printer  Wandered through his early adulthood  Worked as a steamboat pilot, Civil War volunteer, miner, reporter…. Ect.  Takes on the pseudonym “Mark Twain”, which means 4 yards deep and indicates that the water level is safe for passage

FAME  Start= 1865, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog”  Cruise letters= Innocents Abroad, used America as the standard of travel  Won the love of Americans

FAMILY AND HAPPY TIMES  Marries Olivia Langdon  4 children: Langdon, Susy, Clara, and Jean (Langdon died before age 2)  Writes some of his most famous books:  The Gilded Age, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper  Becomes wealthy through revenues and jobs (Big House in Connecticut)

TRAGEDIES Bankruptcy in his 50‟s Deaths: 1st Susy 2nd Olivia Both of his daughters go insane 3rd Death: Jean

There is nothing…. no God and no universe; there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought.

 Because of his personal tragedies, his later works are much more pessimistic...  Works such as “To the Person Sitting in the Darkness”, “King Leopold‟s Soliloquy” and (what you read) “The War Prayer”  The tone is much darker and has a sense of anger and hopelessness  To cope, he began wearing white suits (he had 14) and scarlet socks and being much more public

DEATH April 22, 1910  (in and out on the same day as Haley‟s Comet)

HISTORY OF THE STORY  Clemens visited Sierra Mnts 1864-65; stopping at Angels Camp in Calaveras County, CA  Met Ben Coons in a mining bar  Coons told the story to Clemens who doctored it for publication for his friend Artemus Ward  Publish in New York Saturday Press

SUMMARY  Basic set up: the narrator, Simon Wheeler  Setting: mining camp bar  Story: Wheelers memories about Jim Smiley and his gambling craze and animals Conflict: a contest between the jumping frogs of Jim and a stranger, the stranger rigs the contest by putting two bullets in Jim‟s frog‟s mouth

The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

HISTORICAL SETTING  Gold Rush (1848-1850‟s)  Years of prosperity in America, Gold was almost ½ of the total gold production in the world.  Americans dreamed of FREEDOM, CONQUEST, PROSPERITY, and the “PROMISED LAND”


LITERARY IMPORTANCE  Most successful and well-written of Mark Twain‟s early works.  With this story, he began to organize and give purpose to his haphazard humor.  It was “an accomplished masterpiece” (Wilson 168)

ASPECTS OF STYLE  Clashing opposites and differences (the stranger/Smiley, Narrator/Wheeler)  Absurd situations (whole story)  Language socially:“monotonous narrative” (224) v. “Thish- yer Smiley” (225)  Language culturally: “as tedious as it should be useless to me” (223)  Language politically: “Andrew Jackson” “Dan‟l Webster”

LITERARY INFLUENCES AND DIFFERENCES  Southwestern Humor  Adoption of the theme of “the cultural „Gentleman‟ among the local country yokels” (Wilson 168).  Difference:  not a “bragging, confident frontiersman”(Wilson 168)  Mining camp, not “sophisticated humor of civilization (Baender 192)  The gentleman learns a lesson.

LITERARY INFLUENCES AND DIFFERENCES  California Folklore  Earlier stories of a toad contest throughout folklore.  Ben Coon‟s = mix into Twain.  Differences  “imprint of individuality… whimsical humor, verisimilitude, and dramatic power. His frog sketch is more amusing…it employs humorous colloquial language” (Cuff 157)

ORIGINALITY  Blended parts together with his own stuff.  “fifteen-minute nag and Andrew Jackson, the dog, probably came from Mark Twain’s experiences as a San Francisco reporter.” Wilson 166  The letter sending him to Simon Wheeler and the search for Leonidas W. Smiley come from letter by Artemus Ward. Wilson 166-67

CONCLUSION  There was still humor  Took disappearing southern humor and western lore to create a story full of fun times and great laughter  For that era, it was a sign of hope for future joy  For us, it captured the culture, language, and history of days now long forgotten.  Set the path for the famous and well-beloved author…


BIBLIOGRAPHY  Baender, Paul. “The „Jumping Frog‟ as a Comedian‟s First Virtue.” Modern Philology 60.3 (Feb. 1963): 192-200. JSTOR. 21 Jan. 2009 <>.  Cuff, Robert Penn. “Mark Twain‟s Use of California Folklore in His Jumping Frog Story.” The Journal of American Folklore 65. 256 (Apr.-Jun. 1952): 155-158. JSTOR. 21 Jan. 2009 <>.  Johnson, Paul. A History of the American People. Great Britain: Harper Perennial, 1997.  McMichael, James, et al. Anthropology of American Literature. Vol. 2. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc, 2007.  Rogers, Paul C., Jr. “Artemus Ward and Mark Twain‟s „Jumping Frog‟.” Nineteenth-Century Fiction 28.3 (Dec. 1973): 273-296. JSTOR. 21 Jan. 2009 < >.  Twain, Mark and Charles Neider. The Autobiography of Mark Twain. New York: Harper & Row, 1959.  Twain, Mark. The Jumping Frog. New York: Harper &Brothers, 1903.  Walker, I. M. Mart Twain. New York: Humanities Press, 1970.  Ward, Geoffrey C., Dayton Duncan, and Ken Burns. Mark Twain: An Illustrated Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.  Wilson, James D. A Readers Guide to the Short Stories of Mark Twain. Boston, Mass: G. K. Hall & Co, 1987.  Pictures  by order of appearance  1.  2.  3. Langhorne-Clemens-Pictured-in-a-White-Suit-Posters.jpg  4.  5. g/coolimages/index.html%253Fid%3D1034716073.html&usg=__A8Ml9gNOfIhXZQXREu65zEuu- KQ=&h=465&w=300&sz=86&hl=en&start=4&um=1&tbnid=n1yJ7GkEVfYrQM:&tbnh=128&tbnw=83&prev=/images%3Fq*  6.  7.

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