The Notorious Jumping Frog Analysis

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The use of language in writing is a form of self-expression and is a way to reveal key things about narrators’ characters. The narrators in “The Notorious Jumping Frog” and “Baker's Bluejay Yarn” by Mark Twain, have a very specific style of language which reveals things about their characters. In “The Notorious Jumping Frog” the narrator’s name is Simon Wheeler, The story takes place in Calaveras County, a mining town in California. Wheeler is originally asked about a man by the name Leonidas W. Smiley, but Wheeler started talking a completely different man by the name of Jim Smiley, a man with a gambling problem, who once lived in town. In “Baker's Bluejay Yarn” the narrator's name is Jim Baker. The story takes place in a lonely area in…show more content…
The foremost thing that becomes evident is his inability to stay on topic. The inability to stay on topic is demonstrated when Wheeler’s narration begins, it starts with “Rev. Leonidas W. H’m, Reverend Le-- well, there was a feller here once by the name of Jim Smiley…”(Twain 392). When asked about Rev. Leonidas Smiley, Wheeler quickly changes the subject to someone with a similar name, who is completely irrelevant to the conversation. This not only demonstrates his inability to stay on topic but also shows how his attention span is so short that he can not remember what he is originally asked about. Another way which reveals Wheeler’s character through his language is through his poor grammar. His poor grammar is evident in many places throughout his narration, and one particular instance when he says “Lots of the boys here has seen that Smiley, and can tell you about him” (Twain 392). Wheeler's grammar is incorrect and he should have actually said: “Lots of the boys here have seen Smiley, and can tell you about him”. Wheeler’s poor grammar can be partially attributed to the community around him. Wheeler lives in a mining camp, and most people in mining camps are not highly educated, hence why he uses improper grammar. Taking into account his inability to stay on topic, his short attention span, and his poor grammar, Wheeler’s language leads the readers to believe that he is not educated and is incapable of telling a comprehensible
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