What are six uses of hyperbole describing Jim Smiley in Twain's "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"?

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Here are six more instances of hyperbole to describe Jim Smiley:

If there was a horse-race, you'd find him flush, or you'd find him busted at the end of it; if there was a dog-fight, he'd bet on it; if there was a cat-fight, he'd bet on it; if there...

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Here are six more instances of hyperbole to describe Jim Smiley:

If there was a horse-race, you'd find him flush, or you'd find him busted at the end of it; if there was a dog-fight, he'd bet on it; if there was a cat-fight, he'd bet on it; if there was a chicken-fight, he'd bet on it; why, if there was two birds setting on a fence, he would bet you which one would fly first; or if there was a camp-meeting, he would be there reg'lar, to bet on Parson Walker, which he judged to be the best exhorter about here, and so he was, too, and a good man. If he even seen a straddle-bug start to go anywheres, he would bet you how long it would take him to get wherever he was going to, and if you took him up, he would foller that straddle-bug to Mexico but what he would find out where he was bound for and how long he was on the road.

There are several exaggerations in the above quote, but the emphasis here is what others have mentioned, that Smiley would bet on anything: a horse race, a dog fight, a cat fight, a chicken fight, two birds on a fence, the parson at a revival meeting. In fact, the exaggeration goes further when it says that he would follow a bug all the way to Mexico to see where it was going.

Parson Walker's wife laid very sick once, for a good while, and it seemed as if they warn's going to save her; but one morning he come in, and Smiley asked how she was, and he said she was considerable better thank the Lord for his inf'nit mercy and coming on so smart that, with the blessing of Providence, she'd get well yet; and Smiley, before he thought, says, "Well, I'll risk two-and-a-half that she don't, any way."

This example shows the ridiculousness of Smiley's bets, the fact that he would bet on whether a person, but more specifically the parson's wife, would die or get better. In common society, this type of bet would be the most tacky of them all.

The exaggeration continues with the animals that Smiley garners; as the other entries have mentioned the animals themselves, I want to focus on the characterization of those animals. First is the horse when Twain describes how it would race:

. . . but always at the fag-end of the race she'd get excited and desperate-like, and come cavorting and straddling up, and scattering her legs around limber, sometimes in the air, and sometimes out to one side amongst the fences, and kicking up m-o-r-e dust, and raising m-o-r-e racket with her coughing and sneezing and blowing her nose and always fetch up at the stand just about a neck ahead, as near as you could cipher it down.

When one normally watches horses race, it is seen as a graceful, beautiful thing; horses have a grace about them. But this horse has absolutely no grace! Its win is ugly and chaotic, which makes it seem as if it would not win that race, leading to the exaggeration.

Smiley always come out winner on that pup, till he harnessed a dog once that didn't have no hind legs, because they'd been sawed off by a circular saw . . .

With the dog, it already seems unlikely that it would come out a winner, but, as the quote said, it "always" did, until the again unlikely thing happened when the dog was pitted against another unlikely dog, this one without any legs. Because Andrew Jackson (the dog) always grabbed onto the hind legs of a foe, he could not this time and not only lost but then died.

Thus, Andrew Jackson's death could be considered another hyperbole because the story suggests that he died of a broken heart:

He give Smiley a look, as much as to say his heart was broke, and it was his fault, for putting up a dog that hadn't no hind legs for him to take bolt of, which was his main dependence in a fight, and then he limped off a piece and laid down and died.

The final animal of the story is almost the last line of the story:

Well, thish-yer Smiley had a yeller one-eyed cow that didn't have no tail, only jest a short stump like a bannanner, and . . .

The somewhat ridiculous description of the cow leads the reader to wonder how Smiley will possibly bet on this animal, but the narrator ends Simon Wheeler's recount at that moment, and we are left to wonder.

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1) Simon Wheeler maintains that Jim Smiley was "always betting on any thing that turned up...." Accordingly, Jim Smiley placed bets in dog fights, cat fights, chicken fights, and horse races. Here, Wheeler uses hyperbole to emphasize Jim Smiley's love of gambling.

2) Simon Wheeler maintains that Jim Smiley was obsessed with teaching his frog new tricks. He reports that Jim "never done nothing for three months but set in his back yard and learn that frog to jump." Here, Wheeler uses hyperbole to emphasize Smiley's determined nature. 

3) According to Wheeler, Smiley was terribly proud of his frog and asserted that "all a frog wanted was education, and he could do most any thing." Here, Smiley's use of hyperbole emphasizes his naive nature.

4) In his conversation with the stranger, Jim Smiley proclaims that his frog is "good enough for one thing, I should judge he can outjump any frog in Calaveras county." Here, Smiley's use of hyperbole emphasizes his overly confident and boastful nature.

5) Wheeler reports that Smiley's mare "always had the asthma, or the distemper, or the consumption." The hyperbolic "always" emphasizes Smiley's careless nature. Smiley apparently enjoys entering his mare in races but takes poor care of her.

6) After Smiley's frog loses the jumping competition, Smiley notices that his pet looks a little lethargic. As he lifts the frog up to examine it, he yells out, "Why, blame my cats, if he don't weigh five pound!" Here, Smiley's use of hyperbole highlights his tendency to exaggerate, especially when he's angry. 

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Twain's characterization of Jim Smiley through the tall tales Simon Wheeler tells is driven by hyperbole to deepen the story's humor. Here are six uses:

1.  Wheeler regales the narrator with Smiley's propensity to bet on anything at any time: he was "always betting on any thing that turned up."  The use of "always" is hyperbolic.

2.  Wheeler describes that in training his frog, "he never done nothing for three months but set in his back yard and learn that frog to jump."  The use of "never done nothing but" is hyperbolic--Smiley would have to do more than that to simply stay alive.  

3.  When the frog is being weighted down in advance of the contest with the stranger, he "filled him full of quail shot filled him pretty near up to his chin." Since this action would prove fatal to a frog (assuming it would even be possible), this description is pure hyperbole.

4.  Smiley's frog was described, exaggeratedly, as 100% accurate in catching flies: "he'd nail a fly every time as far as he could see him."  

5.  Simon Wheeler gives the frog superlative qualities that could only accurately be ascribed to human behavior, such as "you never see a frog so modest and straightforward" as a kind of hyperbole.

6.  Smiley's mare, according to Simon Wheeler, "always had the asthma, or the distemper, or the consumption."  The use of the word "always" implies a chronic condition.  This is clear exaggeration for comic effect. 

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