The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain

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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

‘‘No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger’’ is based in part on Twain’s experiences as a printer’s apprentice during his youth. Write a research paper on technological developments in the printing process during the nineteenth century.

Read another short story by Mark Twain, which can be found in collections such as The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches (1867). Write an essay discussing the ways in which Twain uses humor in this story to comment on American society.

The setting of ‘‘No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger’’ in fifteenth-century Austria is based in part on Twain’s experiences traveling in Austria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, during the reign of the emperor Franz Joseph. Write a research paper on the political and social conditions of Austria during this period.

‘‘No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger’’ is a fantastical tale in which magical and supernatural events occur. Write your own short story involving fantastic, magical, or supernatural occurrences.