Story by Mark Twain Lesson by H. Caitlin Corbitt Brainstorm in a paragraph- What was difficult about reading “The Jumping Frog…” story? What does the language of the story tell you about the characters? Look up when you are finished. What does someone’s dialect say about them? Do you feel differently about a person when you hear them they talk? Do you think that dialect is an indication of intelligence? Why? Why not? Get in groups of three One person is going to be the runner, one person is going to be the recorder. The group that answers all four questions first and brings them to me will win. There is a place for runner up so do not stop working until you have all the answers Ready, Set… “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was written by:_______________ _________________ Also Known as (The name his Momma gave him) ____________ ____________ _____________ I will take the middle initial if you cannot spell the middle name. Where is the story set? What is the name of the “CAMP”? From who’s perspective (point of view) is the story being told? A- The first narrator. Duh. B- Jim Smiley C- That old guy in the tavern from the beginning of the story D- Daniel Webster Characters Mr. A. Ward Simon Wheeler Leonidas W. Smiley Jim Smiley Mr. A. Ward The first frame of the story. Ward is the man that Mark Twain is writing to. Simon Wheeler The old guy in the tavern from the beginning of the story! He is our monotone and “unenthused” narrator. Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley The man that Twain came to Angel’s Camp, California to learn about. Jim Smiley The man Twain actually learns about. He is our protagonist- the man who will bet on anything. Let’s find the main actions that move the story along. Together, we are going to put together the major points of story. Mr. Ward told Twain (Our first narrator) that while he was visiting California’s gold mining camps, he must stop into Angel’s Camp and ask Mr. Simon Wheeler about Rev. L.W. Smiley. Twain writes him back, pointing out the mean joke that Mr. Ward played– he knew that Wheeler would be reminded of old Jim Smiley and keep Twain there telling him useless old stories. To exact his revenge, Twain writes down every rambling word of the exchange so Mr. Ward would be forced to listen to it too. Jim Smiley will bet on ANYTHING. He bet on Parson Walker’s wife- he figured she’d kick the bucket. He had a horse that seemed sickly until the end of a race when she would suddenly come useful! He had a dog (Andrew Jackson) who looked sneaky and lazy but would fight and win. He didn’t lose until he was pitted against a dog that lacked hind legs. He educated a frog, Daniel Webster, to jump higher and farther than any other frog. A traveling stranger who did not SEE anything special about Daniel Webster. He “wanted to bet” Jim but alas, did not have a frog to beat Daniel. Jim Smiley (oh so graciously) let the stranger hold Daniel while he went out to find the stranger a frog. While Jim was gone, the stranger filled Daniel to the gills with quail shot. When Jim returned and the two were set side by side, the stranger’s frog hopped and Daniel stayed still! Once the stranger left with Jim’s money in hand, Jim picked up Daniel and found out that the frog was full of quail shot! Having heard enough about Jim Smiley and realizing the trick Mr. Ward had played on him, our first narrator (Twain) leaves Mr. Wheeler once he becomes distracted by someone else. Trickster story/ Swindler’s Tale What are the “tricks” in his story? What makes this story funny? Theories of Humor in literature What is realistic about this story? Is any of it believable? Do you find any of this believable? Do you “know” these characters? Questions? Thank you so much for your attention!
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