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Quotes

Quote #1

"Oh I dasn't, Mars Tom. Ole missis she'd take an' tar de head off'n me. 'Deed she would." (2.7)

However crude Twain's attempt to render Jim's manner of speaking may seem, his commitment to capturing different dialects is noteworthy.

Quote #2

"Umf! Well, you didn't get a lick amiss, I reckon. You been into some owdacious mischief when I wasn't around, right enough." (3.22)

Twain's ability to capture the sound of speech on the page becomes more evident when you compare the different ways characters speak. Here you can see how Aunt Polly's voice compares to Jim's.

Quote #3

"Hold! Who comes here into Sherwood Forest without my pass?"

"Guy of Guisborne wants no man's pass. Who art thou that -- that --"

"Dares to hold such language," said Tom, prompting -- for they talked "by the book," from memory. (8.17-19)

Here we see that Tom and Joe Harper are actually able to change their manner of speaking to suit their role-playing; they, like Twain, understand what a difference "voice" can make. (It should also be noticed that Tom has no trouble remembering lines from Robin Hood, but he can't even memorize the smallest bit of the Sermon on the Mount for Sunday school.)

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