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What onomatopoeia, hyperbole, similes, metaphors, and personifications are in Twain's...

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blopalison | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 17, 2008 at 11:18 AM via web

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What onomatopoeia, hyperbole, similes, metaphors, and personifications are in Twain's story?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 17, 2008 at 12:12 PM (Answer #1)

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Western humorists such as Mark Twain make extensive use of exaggeration, hyperbole.  For example, westerner Simon Wheeler exaggerates when describing the frog's talents: "You never see a frog so modest and straightfor'ard as he was, for all he was so gifted." There is also some personification as the frog is modest and later indifferent. Another example is the exaggerated description of how Jim Smiley would bet on anything. He even bet that his wife would not live when she lay ill. The description of the "fifteen-minute nag's" (metaphor)winning is a further hyperbole.

Simile is used with the little bull pup that Smiley bets on:  "his under-jaw'd begin to stick out like the fo'castle of a steamboat and his teeth would uncover and shine like the furnaces." "And a dog might tackle him and bullyrag him" (metaphor) An opponent to Andrew Jackson once had no legs to be bitten:"...the other dog had him in the door" (metaphor)

Smiley catches a frog that "whirled in the air like a doughnut.." coming down "flatfooted ...like a cat." (similes)  More hyperbole occurs as the frog could "nail a fly every time as fur as he could see him."  Simile and onomatopoeia as the fly "flopped down on the floor ag'in as solid as a gob of mud...and slopped around...  The frog is "planted as solid as a church (simile).  At the door the narrator is "buttonholed" (metaphor)

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