Symbolism In The Notorious Frog Of Calaveras County
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The short story, “The Notorious Frog of Calaveras County”, by Mark Twain, is a humorous and insightful tale that takes place in the United States. At the time of the story, people were moving west to settle land and discover gold. The author uses symbolism, through the names he assigns his characters, to provide insight into the society that existed in the United States during the time of the tale.
The narrator, who is from the East, enters a mining camp in search of a friend’s friend by the name of Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley. The narrator states that Reverend Smiley was, “a young minister of the Gospel” (Twain 115). The gentleman he encounters begins to tell him a story about another man named Jim Smiley who was, “the curious man about always betting on…show more content… He did this by assigning the animals in the story the names of prominent politicians and gave them characteristics associated with those political figures. This is best evidenced in the text by the statement that Jim Smiley, “had a little small bull pup. . . and Andrew Jackson. . . was the name of the pup” (Twain 117). Andrew Jackson was also the name of a United States President. The storyteller states that the pup, “had genus” (Twain 117) and “Smiley always came out winner on that pup” (Twain 117). These statements relay to the reader that President Jackson always won and was very intelligent. Daniel Webster was another political figure and, “a noted American senator, statesman and orator,”(Twain 117) as well as the name of the notorious jumping frog in Twain’s story. The frog was portrayed as being, “modest and straightfor’ard” (Twain 117) and “so gifted” (Twain 117). Twain was giving humanistic traits to a frog to symbolize traits found in Senator Webster. It appears that Twain approved of these men and wanted the reader to know about their political service to the United