Who are the protagonist and antagonist in "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County is a frame story, a story told by one character to another. This can make the identification of one protagonist and one antagonist problematic. In this case, Simon Wheeler tells the jumping frog story to Mark Twain. The focus of Simon's story is o Jim Smiley, the protagonist of Simon's tale. Jim is known for betting on anything and owns the famous frog that he has taught to jump. The antagonist in the story is the stranger. The stranger is a con artist and feeds the frog quail shot to make him too heavy to jump. This situation—the Stranger duping the local (Jim Smiley)—contrasts with Simon Wheeler, the local, who dupes Twain, the visitor by making Twain listen for fantastic tales. If one looks at the overall story, the one where Twain is forced to listen to endless stories, then the protagonist would be Twain and the antagonist, Simon Wheeler.

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