We are reading The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.What is the setting? Who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist?

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jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, the story's called "The Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County." Calaveras County is located in the state of California, 135 miles east of San Francisco, smack in the heart of California Gold country. The story probably takes place around the time it was written, about 1865.

As to the protagonist and antagonist... well.... The narrator starts off talking about a friend of his, old Simon Wheeler, and asked him about a friend of his, one Leonidas W. Smiley. Well, Wheeler thinks the narrator might be talking about a Jim Smiley, so he tells the narrator about him. It's all a little quirky and confusing for sure, but if you need a protagonist of the story that ensues, that's it: Jim Smiley.

So we learn about the preoccupations and proclivities of Jim Smiley. Most of all, we learn that Smily loved to place bets. The man would bet on anything.

Now if you need an antogonist, it's best to settle on this "feller," the guy Smiley wagers in regard to Smiley's prize jumping frog, Dan'l:

One day a feller a stranger in the camp, he was come across him with his box, and says:

"What might it be that you've got in the box?"

And Smiley says, sorter indifferent like, "It might be a parrot, or it might be a canary, may be, but it an't it's only just a frog."

And the feller took it, and looked at it careful, and turned it round this way and that, and says, "H'm so 'tis. Well, what's he good for?"

OK. Take it from there.

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