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How does the ues of authentic dialect add to the story, "The Celebrated Jumping...

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harter | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:16 AM via web

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How does the ues of authentic dialect add to the story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 4, 2008 at 11:53 AM (Answer #1)

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The use of authentic dialogue helps differentiate the characters and adds to the satire of the story. When Twain speaks, he uses standard, grammatical English. When Simon Wheeler speaks, he uses the common dialect of the West. This makes Wheeler seem like a country bumpkin and helps us be to laugh at his story because we ( the audience) are obviously smarter and better educated than he is--or the rest of the characters in the story, for that matter.
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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 4, 2008 at 12:10 PM (Answer #2)

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Humorists such as Mark Twain make use of exaggertion.  Certain exaggerated details and incidents are described by a storyteller in a very serious tone, a tone which makes the story even funnier because the reader gets the impression that the teller is unaware of the ridiculousness of what he is describing (i.e. satire).

The regional dialect is an important element of Twain's humor and use of the ridiculous. These dialects capture the local color and make the characters more interesting and amusing.  Simon Wheeler makes for such an interesting character, and his use of unexpected words adds much to the humor of the story.  For example, Simon relates, " This-yer Smiley had a mare--the boys called her the fifteen-minute nag...."  Such colorful language creates humorous images in the mind of the reader.

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