Published on March 19, 2014
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 <http://www.jstor.org/search>. 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 <http://www.jstor.org/search>. 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 <http://jstor.org/search >. 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.http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/give/historyroom/twain.jpg 2. http://www.ecology.info/img/Mississippi-River.jpg 3. http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/MEPOD/10044132~Mark-Twain-American-Writer-Born-Samuel- Langhorne-Clemens-Pictured-in-a-White-Suit-Posters.jpg 4. http://www.hittheroadcalifornia.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/frog.jpg 5.http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://whyfiles.org/coolimages/images/csi/gold.jpg&imgrefurl=http://whyfiles.or 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 %3Dpicture%2Bof%2Bgold%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:* 6. http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/willow/history-of-california0.gif 7. http://www.soldierstudies.org/images/webquest/civil%20war%20soldiers.jpg
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