Homework Help

Are there any literary devices in "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by...

user profile pic

r163932 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 9, 2009 at 9:43 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Are there any literary devices in "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

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

Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:25 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Twain uses several literary devices in "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". The first technique we notice is that the tale is a "frame story". That means that one story, the story about Twain's conversation with Simon Wheeler, is a frame for a second story, that about Jim Smiley and his jumping frog. The author uses parallel structure to hold together long sentences when describing his characters. For instance, he writes,"

He never smiled, he never frowned, he never changed his voice from the gentle-flowing key to which he tuned the initial sentence, he never betrayed the slightest suspicion of enthusiasm. . ."

In addition,, Twain uses colloquial diction to give an authenticity to the dialogue of the story. For example, "Wheeler ignores many grammatical rules, and speaks with an "accent'' of sorts. He says "feller'' instead of "fellow," "reg'lar" instead of "regular," and even "Dan'l" for "Daniel." Twain uses personification when he describes the animals in the story. "Andrew Jackson, Jim Smiley's dog, is described as proud, ornery, and determined." The frog is described as "indifferent as if he hadn't been doin' any more than any frog might do".  Using similes, the frog is also "like a cat" and whirls "like a doughnut." Finally, the story is full of satire, especially when it come to depicting the stereotypes people believed about uncultured Westerners and educated Easterners.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes