Where is realism found in "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Mark Twain's short story is a tall tale with farcical elements, it is based on the California mining camps of the mid-19th century and contains a highly realistic physical setting. The mining settlement of Angel's, with its "bar-room stove of the old, dilapidated tavern" serves as a realistic place for Simon Wheeler to relate his tales. Wheeler recalls the unfinished flume from the early days of the gold rush; the men betting "on any thing that turned up;" the dust; and the odd assortment of animals housed in and around the camp. Perhaps the most authentic source of the story comes in Twain's brilliant colloquial dialogue. Few writers of the time captured the true feel for the language as did Twain with his repartee between Jim Smiley and stranger who loaded Dan'l Webster with buckshot.

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