The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
by Mark Twain

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County Analysis

Literary Devices in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

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 Jack...

Setting

Angel's Camp is a gold mining community in the mid-19th century that the narrator claims to have visited to find Simon Wheeler. Like any mining town in the West, it was populated primarily by men,...

Narrator Point of View

Through a frame narrative, the narrator (clearly an educated man from the East) presents the story of Jim Smiley, told in Simon Wheeler’s uneducated dialect. This is the main device that Twai...

Genre

The frame story (the story of how the narrator ended up talking to Simon Wheeler) doesn’t really have any point to it. It’s just an anecdote, like some funny story you might tell your f...

Tone

Though the content suggests the opposite of the tone, the attitude of the narrator toward the subject matter is one of disbelief that his time has been wasted in such a way. He’s annoyed that...

Writing Style

This story is told with a frame narrative. The narrator uses educated diction, and explains how absurd Simon Wheeler is. Simon Wheeler narrates the inside story, and he uses an uneducated vernacula...

What’s Up With the Title?

The story was also published as "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog." All three are typical "tall tale" titles, suggesting nothing more than a myth...

What’s Up With the Ending?

Though the narrator stops Wheeler from continuing his tall tale at the very end of the story, and assumes that his quest was fruitless, it’s possible that he’s just been had, as he sugg...

Plot Analysis

The narrator enters the tavern in Angel’s mining camp.A friend has asked the narrator to find Simon Wheeler and to ask him about the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley. Simon Wheeler doesn’t r...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The narrator enters a saloon and asks about the Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley. Instead, old Simon Wheeler corners him with a tall tale about a man named Jim Smiley, who loved to gamble.Simon Wheeler tell...

Trivia

When Mark Twain first wrote "The Celebrated Jumping Frog," his life resembled the narrator’s, which means the story could be autobiographical. Before he had fame and fortune as an author, Twa...

Steaminess Rating

This story is not about sex at all, not unless men betting each other over frogs and swindling each other in their bets is about sex.

Allusions

Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States and the first true populist (non-aristocrat) to have that job (para. 6)Daniel Webster, a senator and Secretary of State, known for his extraor...

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