Examine Monitoring: Review the list you kept while reading. Which monitoring strategy helped you best understand and enjoy Roughing It? Explain, and give examples.

Several monitoring strategies, such as rereading, reflection, and visualization, could be effective for understanding and enjoying Roughing It. Mark Twain was both a humorist and a serious journalist, and he uses numerous stylistic and literary devices.

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Using several different monitoring strategies while reading Roughing It can help the reader not only understand what Mark Twain was doing but enjoy his accomplishments.

Twain was an accomplished humorist and a serious writer with considerable experience in journalism, and a wide variety of types of pieces are combined in...

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Using several different monitoring strategies while reading Roughing It can help the reader not only understand what Mark Twain was doing but enjoy his accomplishments.

Twain was an accomplished humorist and a serious writer with considerable experience in journalism, and a wide variety of types of pieces are combined in this book. Twain specialized in portraying the eccentricities of American character types, including the narrator persona that he adopts in many of the pieces. He also presents vivid images of scenes, both true and fantastic. Rereading, reflecting, and visualization are among the strategies that a reader might usefully apply to reading Twain’s work.

Monitoring overall includes different approaches to reconsidering specific pieces of text, which will vary in length. Rather than assume that one is absorbing all the nuances of a piece on one’s first reading, it is recommended that the reader pause frequently and assess their comprehension. Stop and think about a section of text just completed. Try to identify a the source of any difficulty, such as unfamiliar vocabulary or awkward syntax. Reflect on the author’s likely intentions, or connotation, as contrasted to the passage’s literal meaning, or denotation.

Twain’s humor often depends on extreme exaggeration, or hyperbole. Stopping to reflect on how closely his words reflect reality can help the reader appreciate the author’s comedic effect. For example, the narrator reflects on his brother’s many adventures, about which he wrote home.

Examining a long, run-on sentence for obvious errors or incongruities can help the reader determine the humor in a passage. Out in the Far West, the brother could certainly have seen “buffaloes and Indians, and prairie dogs,” but his numerous adventures would not have included being “hanged or scalped,” which would prove fatal.

Visualization can be an effective strategy for the ample descriptive passages that Twain includes. One passage that visualization would bring to life is his description of a coyote as it escapes from a dog that is chasing it. Twain uses personification, giving the coyote humanlike characteristics, which help the mind’s eye see the coyote as deliberately tricking the dog. Occasionally, for example, the coyote “will smile a fraudful smile over his shoulder that will fill that dog entirely full of encouragement.” He also uses repetition and a string of adjectives in describing the landscape so it can be readily visualized, as the coyote leaves “a broader and broader, and higher and denser cloud of desert sand smoking behind.”

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