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Manipulating Meaning Worksheet Essay

Part A: Twain’s Family Tree

Use all the skills you have learned throughout this course to complete a close reading of the description you’ve chosen. Use context clues to make sense of things that are not clear at first. Pay attention to Twain’s tone and the humor devices he uses.

1. Which of Twain’s ancestors did you select?

Charles Henry Twain

2. What is the ACTUAL story of that man’s life? Provide supporting evidence from the text.

“lived during the latter part of the seventeenth century he converted sixteen thousand South Sea islanders, and taught them that a dog-tooth necklace and a pair of spectacles was not enough clothing to come to divine service in” He was very well liked by his flock of people.

3. What techniques does Twain use to create satire in the description you selected? Provide supporting evidence from the text.

I think he used wit and humor, when naming it “twains demented family tree”

Part B: Create Your Own Satire

For this part of the assignment, you will appropriate Twain’s technique and write a burlesque of an event in your life or in the life of a celebrity. Remember, a burlesque plays on contradiction between a subject and the way it is treated. Twain used humor to describe serious, sometimes awful, events, but you can turn it around and present something fun or happy in a very serious way – the choice is yours.


Incorporate at least two humor devices
Write a minimum of five sentences
Paste your completed burlesque here:

One time I was riding a very high powered four wheeler, Yamaha raptor 700rr. This bike topped out at about 95mph (no exaggeration) and I was going about 60-70mph down a dirt/rock road. When I needed to slow down I tapped the front brakes a little to hard and the bike stood up on its front two wheels, now in my head, rather than getting eaten by a 400lbs bike I decided to jump off to my right. I tumbled and tumbled lost my shoes and oddly enough ripped my shirt off (couldn’t even find it). Had road rash from head to toe and everywhere in between. Though I was very fortunate not to break anything I was not in the best condition. When I got home (after pushing the bike home) I tell my father what happened and he says “well that was smart, dumba$$!” to which I replied “it was definitely one of my smarter moves!” He then helped me get cleaned up, picked the rocks and gravel out of my wounds then spent the next 3 weeks in my bed. ;/

After you have written your burlesque, answer these reflection questions in complete sentences: 1. Factually describe the event you wrote about in your burlesque. I was to in experienced on a high experience bike.

I’m far more experienced now (pro)
I’m lying about the pro part, but definitely know how to ride

2. What humor devices did you incorporate? Why did you choose them? I used sarcasm; I used sarcasm because I am fluent in that particular literary device. I also used sarcasm because it’s a true story and that’s how it went, exactly. So I felt it was only appropriate.

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