The Invalids Story

Essay by boyosansaHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2014

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Foster Perry


Pre-Ap English A2

23 April 2014

Mocking Goth

"Twain was a Superb and deadly parodist of various literary figures and genres that he found pretentious or absurd."(Kemper) He is known for writing tall tales with a wide range of writing techniques for humorous effects, nowhere is this more present then in "The Invalid's Story"(Poquette) In this tale an unnamed bachelor has to transport his recently deceased friend across the country to the intended burial site in Wisconsin by the means of railway. In "The Invalids Story" Mark Twain uses various forms of and the mocking of Edgar Allen Poe to create humor.

Mark Twain constantly pokes fun at gothic literature and mocks it numerous times in "The Invalid's Story", this is able to create a subtle humor to the select few that notice. The story begins with a grim and glorious introduction: "I lost it [my health] through helping to take care of a box of guns on a 2 hundred mile railway journey one winter's night.

It is the actual truth, and I will tell you about it" (Twain 187). This introduction directly models the introduction in Edgar Allen Poe's " A Descent into the Maelstrom", " 'Not long ago' said he at length, 'and I could have guided you on this route as well as the youngest of my sons; but, about three years past, there happened to me an event such as never happened before mortal man"(Kemper). This grandiose introduction is found not only in "A Descent into the Maelstrom", but in many of Poe's works. This style of Mocking Gothic Literature and Edgar Allen Poe, especially in the introduction, is able to add a subtle flavor and humor to those who are able to notice it (Poquette).