Social Differences in Twain's: Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog

Essay by yoshiod9University, Bachelor'sA, May 2004

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 38 times

In Mark Twain's, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog", the language used by the narrator allowed readers to grasp a tiny portion of how socially different people are on the west coast when compared to the east coast. Mark Twain was the epitome of what people would call the 'southern gentleman'. He was courteous, and well-mannered. One can easily see Twain's good manners and courtesy with a look at how he starts out his story, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog".

Rather than write to Mr. A. Ward and confront him about his deceiving words and become angry, Twain simply says that,

I have a lurking suspicion that your Leonidas W. Smiley is a myth- that you never knew such a personage, and that you only conjectured that if I asked old Wheeler about him it would remind him of his infamous Jim Smiley, and he would go to work and bore me nearly to death with some infernal reminiscence of him as long and tedious as it should be useless to me.

If that was your design, Mr. Ward, it will gratify you to know that it succeeded(59-60).

Ever the gentleman, Twain continues telling Mr. Ward about the story "old Simon Wheeler" told him about Jim Smiley. Twain makes the reader assume that he is a good, well-mannered man by asking Simon Wheeler to tell him about Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley, and saying that, "I let him go on his own way, and never interrupted him once"(60).

Simon Wheeler was a simple man whom only wanted to help Mark Twain in his inquiry about Leonidas Smiley but, as simple people are apt to do, Wheeler remembers a different man, named Jim Smiley, and Wheelers tale begins. It is very apparent that Wheeler is a simple...