What is the narrator's attitude towards Wheeler? Support your answer with details from the story.

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrator finds Wheeler to be annoying and amusing all at the same time, but is in reality a bit irritated with Wheeler's ramblings, and anxious to escape them.  You can find evidence of this attitude at the beginning of the story, when the narrator is introducing to us just exactly how he heard the story of the jumping frog in the first place.  He had a friend tell him to ask Wheeler about Smiley, and concludes that he suspects his friend set him up, in order to trap him into a long conversation with Wheeler.  He states that his friend must have known that Wheeler would

"would go to work and bore me nearly to death with some infernal reminiscence of him as long and tedious as it should be useless to me."

So, he tells us that Wheeler was incredibly boring and told stories that no one cared about.  He goes on to describe him in very unflattering terms as "fat and bald-headed" and "simple."  He indicates that Wheeler "blockaded" him in the room so he couldn't escape and forced the story down him.  The narrator finds this "exquisitely absurd."  At the end of the narration, the narrator is so irritated and anxious to leave that he snaps at Wheeler and leaves him right in the middle of another story.

From all of this, we can conclude that the narrator, on the surface, found Wheeler to be incredibly annoying and dull.  However, the fact that he even told the story of Wheeler and his tales later on indicates that irritation was not necessarily all there was to it.  He found his stories entertaining enough, and the man himself amusing enough to write down a story about it, so, he had to have some merit.  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck1

mkcapen1 | Student

The narrator meets a man named Wheeler, who makes an excuse to begin his story about Jim Smiley.  Wheeler tells the tale of Smiley and his jumping frog.  He makes Smiley sound dumb.  The narrator recognizes this when he learns that Smiley had gone of to find the other man a frog.  The other man stuffed the frog with buckshot to make it heavy and unable to jump well.  However, when Smiley finds out, he chases the man. 

The joke, of course, is on the story in itself that Wheeler tells.  He seems to derive pleasure by sharing the tale of the frog with the narrator in the tavern.  He likes telling tales about Jim Smiley so much that he embarks on another one.  The narrator makes his escape before he has to listen to another story.

The narrator was not impressed with Wheeler.

E-notes has an excellent summary of the story at the listed website.

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