The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

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Is "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" a satire?  

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Mark Twain's famous short story belongs to (or perhaps even originated) a genre of specifically American satire that survived well into the twentieth century in the form of television comedies such as The Andy Griffith Show and The Beverly Hillbillies.

In the tale of the jumping frog, Mark Twain pokes fun at the folksy, naive attitude of the US frontier class. It's satiric, but in a good-natured way, far removed from the angry, slashing satire typical of Swift and other British and European writers. The colloquialisms of the language are comical, as is the long-windedness of the narration, in which virtually nothing of significance happens except the rather goofy trick that is played upon Jim Smiley and his frog. If there is a moral to the story, it's the basic one that no man is to be trusted. The fact that Smiley is so easily duped is probably meant to illustrate the trusting nature of the American soul in the seemingly uncorrupted backwoods setting.

Admittedly, in this last point, our...

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