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The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County


by Mark Twain

Andrew Jackson and Dan'l Webster

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The names for the dog and the "educated" frog hint at some possible political undertones. The dog, who didn’t look like much but was feisty when it came to fighting, was named for Andrew Jackson, a westerner and the seventh president of the United States. He was a man of the people and believed in democracy for all.

Daniel Webster was an attorney who became one of the leading American statesmen, serving as a senator and Secretary of State. He ran unsuccessfully for president three times and was known for being a very good narrator. In this short story, a common frog with no name beats the educated frog (Dan’l Webster). The moral of the tale could be that the uneducated, common frog was only able to beat the educated frog through cheating. Alternatively, given Webster’s politics, it might be possible read more deeply into this and suggest that the tale is subversively arguing for equality for all Americans.

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