When Clemens’ portrayed Hannibal as a mixture of “idyll and nightmare” for his description of St. Petersburg in his novels, how did this juxtaposition match this historic shift?
This juxtaposition matched the historic shift of the United States from a country that was peaceful, rural and most of its citizens holy to a United States that became hostile, discordant and disrupted by war-a real life nightmare for the citizens and soldiers in it.
(innocent to jaded)
The Civil War’s savagery left the US morally exhausted. To what was this destruction paradoxically juxtaposed?
The war was paradoxically juxtaposed in that although it lead to mass destruction in the United States, the country was quickly and profoundly able to recoup from the losses of war because of new books in technology and industry during that period, leading to a heavily expanding economy.
How did Clemens get started as a peripatetic journalist? What was his pseudonym?
Clemens got his start as a peripatetic journalist when he fulfilled his boyhood ambition and became a pilot in the Civil War, where he began to write humorous accounts of his activities for the Keokuk Saturday Post, although only three of these articles were published under the pseudonym Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass.
What was Clemens’ pen name? From what source did he adopt it? What did the term mean?
Clemens’ time called for the popular use of a pen name, to which he chose “Mark Twain,” adapted from a term used during his piloting days signifying “two fathoms deep” or “safe water.”
What narrative/ POV technique did Clemens perfect that allowed him to be outrageously funny without being censored?
Clemens perfected the narrative point of view of being largely imitative of the humorous journalism of the time which was important chiefly as an apprenticeship. Clemens’ perfected technique was equivalent to “deadpan lecturing” that allowed him to say what he please in his writing by reporting it as facts of other’s actions or phrases. “deadpan lecturing”-which along his fantasy a long leash and yet required him to anchor it in the circumstantial details of time and place.
he has someone say a weird story and he quotes others so he won’t have to be blamed
How is his pen name related to this technique?
Clemens’ pen name is related to the technique in that it allowed his fantasy a long leash and yet required him to anchor it in the circumstantial details of time and place.
he stays in safewater by using other’s work
Identify three of Clemens most important friends and what he gained from each of them.
Bret Harte: a writer to which Clemens was able to better his writing
Artemus Ward: a famous professional lecturer whom allowed Clemens to develop his great skill in orally speaking
Jim Gillis: an obscure amaterur raconteur who lead Clemens to develop his superb storytelling ability-Twain learned art of perfectly placed laugh line
For what written work did Clemens get his earliest recognition?
Clemens got his earliest recognitions to his performances as a lecturer and his skillful retelling of a well known tate, “The Notorious JUmping Frog of Calaveras County,” published in 1865.
Why were Clemens’ letters (that later became the book Innocents Abroad) so enormously popular?
Clemens letters were so popular because it used a fictitious character, Mr. brown, to represent inelegant ideas, attitudes, information, and impolite language, he released the filter from the mind of numerous citizens by discovering that he could say virtually anything he pleased, but only by claiming that she was merely convincingly reporting the actions and words of others – similar to “deadpan lecturing.” Moreover, the letters were so popular not only because they were extremely funny but also because the satire they leveled against a pretentious, decadent, and undemocratic Old World was tremendously likened by a young country that was on verge of entering a period of booming economic growth, political consolidation, and imperialist expansion.
What was Life on the Mississippi?
Life on the Mississippi was not only part history, part memoir, part travelogue, but also a scathing critique of the southern romanticism Twain believed had made the Civil War inevitable.
What was the Adventures of Tom Sawyer?
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) was a compelling myth of the endless summer of childhood pleasures mingled with the violence, terror, and death that lurk at the edges of the village.
What thematic and stylistic aspects have made the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn so instructive and moving?
The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn’s thematic implication of race, combined with questions of Twain’s sexuality, rich themes of river and boyhood, but most importantly its unpretentious, colloquial yet poetic style, its wide ranging humor, embodiment of the enduring and widely shared dream of innocence and freedom, and its recording of a vanished way of life in the pre-Civil War Mississippi Valley have most people of all ages across the world, making The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn so instructive and moving.
considered first, truly american novel
What were the dual targets of satire in Clemens’ novel– A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court?
The dual targets of satire in Clemens’ novel A connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court where King Arthur and his “decidedly undemocratic world of Camelot,” thus shattering the time of place dubbed “The Gilded Age.”
According to Clemens’ novel Pudd’nhead Wilson what were two disastrous effects of slavery?
According to the novel Pudd’nhead Wilson, two disastrous effects of slavery on victims and victimizers was the unearned pride of whites and the undeserved self-hate of slaves.
What tragedies (personal and as a nation) contributed to Clemens’ sense of despair?
The tragedies of the twinning of law and custom in sustaining the institution of slavery contributed to Clemens’ despair over prospects for true racial equality, Jim Crow laws, and the escalation of lynchings in the post-Reconstruction period in which the novel was written and published.
-his wife and favorite daughter died
Why is it paradoxical that Clemens was so popular at the end of his life?
It is paradoxical that Clemens was so popular at the end of his life because his views on political, military and social subjects were often acerbic, to which only his friends understood the complex roots of his despair and anger at the human race. Clemens’ bitterness towards the human race can be shown in his writings such as “To a Person Sitting in Darkness,” “The United States of Lyncherdom,” and “King Leopold’s Soliloquy.”
-ex. Johnny Carson, Steven Hawkins
“The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”–a famous early short story– demonstrates several of characteristics of storytelling that Twain developed later in his novels: domestic comedies, hoaxes, social satire, etc. Cite at least one example.
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” demonstrates the characteristics of: Domestic comedy: Smiley’s relationships with animals, especially his horse, dog and frog represents domestic comedy in way that in a way these animals are similar to his family as he takes such time in training them and taking care of them, as in the case of his frog Dan’l Webster as he thought the frog to jump.
Hoax: Twain believed from the very beginning that his friend Simon Wheeler lied about knowing Jim Smiley, which adds a funny twist to the contrast between Twain and Wheeler’s opposing perceptions on the actuality of the story.
Social satire: Social satire is shown through the description of Wheeler as a “gentleman” because even though he is represented as a gentlemen, his broken rhetoric when telling the story proves otherwise.
The story opens up with the narrator describing a story to “set up” his hearing the “Jim Smiley story.” What is that narrative technique called?
How does that technique contribute to the meaning/ purpose of the story?
The use of frame narrative contributes to the purpose of the story in that it sets up a particularly window of emphasis for the story to be told in and directs the audience’s attention another aspect of the story.
-narrator is set up by the friend in the same way jim smiley who thinks he is setting up the stranger gets “entrapped” in his own game
Twain was a great humorist, and combined humor with the ear for dialogue and the flawless timing of a great raconteur (storyteller who delivers his tales with skill and wit primarily through exaggeration, folksy talk, unusual juxtapositions and surprise endings.) Cite examples of these techniques.
Examples of Clemens’s humor would include:
Exaggeration: In the beginning of the narrative as he states his friend Simon Wheeler’s’ story would “bore him to death” with an “exasperating reminiscence.”
Folksy talk: Folk talks normally center around humans’ interactions with animals, which is widely depicted in Smiley’s many interactions with his animals such as his horse, dog and frog.
Uncommon Juxtapositions: Twain’s uncommon juxtaposition of 2 nation leaders as dehumanized as a dog (Andrew Jackson) who love to fight and always wins in battle and a frog (Daniel Webster who is highly intelligent) is highly piquant and offers an odd humor to his narrative.
Surprise ending: Smiley’s most-prized frog cost him to lose a bet, which countermanded all of Wheeler’s previous statements of Smiley never losing one.
Explain how the structure of the story is like a well-told joke.
every well told joke builds up to a punch line when the trickster who thinks he will trick the stranger gets beat at his own game
What was the name of Smiley’s pup and his frog?
The name of Smiley’s pup was “Andrew Jackson” and the name of his frog was “Dan’l Webster.”
How were their behaviors satiristic lampoons of their namesakes?
The name of Smiley’s pup was a satirical lampoon of his name “Andrew Jackson” because just like the original Andrew Jackson, Smiley’s pup would constantly fight and be in battles-all of which he won like the military persona Andrew Jackson. The name of Smiley’s frog was a satirical lampoon of his name “Dan’l Webster” in that the original Daniel Webster was a United States statesman, who was thoroughly educated, just as the frog.
Twain wrote this work as a parody of the famous work by Julia Ward Howe by the same title. What was the purpose of the Howe’s hymn?
The purpose of Howe’s hymn was to glorify God as a soldier in the fact that he sacrificed his life for the good and protection of all mankind, just a soldier sacrifices his life for the good of a nation and its people.
What images and connotative words illustrate her purpose most effectively?
Connotative words that effectively illustrate her purpose is the repetition the phrase “God is marching on.” That phrase depicts God as a soldier that continues to fight for the good of his people against an evil. Also the image of a “hero crushing a serpent with his heel” and “sifting out hearts of men before their judgement seat” depicts God not only as a brave soldier that successfully defeats his enemies but also someone with enough power to know the minds of men in contrast with their outward persona.
What role does God play in Howe’s version?
In Howe’s version, God plays the role of a soldier is the savior and protector of citizens against the unjust evils of their enemies.
In Twain’s version, identify at least SIX word exchanges that create the satiric criticism.
In Twain’s version, 6 words that exchanges that create satiric criticism are:
What pattern do you observe among those words? Significance?
Twain replaced the original, positively connotated words with words of all negative connotations. The significance of this is to denote Twain’s criticism and disgust with the purpose of war: money. Twain despises that soldiers are now sent to die for another’s greed rather than for protecting their citizens in the name and glory of God. Twain’s bitterness towards the human race is wholesomely reflected in this piece as he believes humans are falling in their grace and unholy activities.
What role does God play in Twain’s version?
In Twain’s version, God is not the centerpiece of the narrative, greed is. God serves as a representation of man’s past legacy in Poe’s version, used as a contrast between man’s present state to dictate how society was wholesome in its worth, but became corrupted by wealth. God is represented as the house upon the hill to which, in Twain’s point of view, no one is will be able to reach.
What is the point of Twain’s parody?
The main point of Twain’s parody is to show how man has lost his good, holy ways-instead becoming corrupted by wealth, greed and lust. Twain also dictates his belief that war-once a sacred declaration to protect one’s beloved home and citizens-is now a petty way of getting money as soldiers are killed by greed. Twain reflects his bitterness of society and his disgusts towards man’s new ways of greed and lust that conquered his holiness and goodness.
Analyze the syntax(sentence patterns), diction (denotative/connotative), imagery, and overall structure of the 1st paragraph.
periodic sentence builds to climax of fervor for war/builds up emotional peak
What is the purpose of the worship service described in paragraph 2?
The purpose of the worship service was to bless the soldiers before their deportment to war and to pray of their safety and protection by the hands of God, encouraging them to stay strong and confident in defeating the enemy, thus bringing the nation honor. Another and larger purpose was having the church as a bragging center for those parents whose sons entered the war.
What parts of the service were emphasized by the author? Why?
Some parts of the service that were emphasized by Twain included the “long and beautiful prayer” which blessed the soldiers in crushing their enemies during their journey and bringing the nation honor. Also, the bragado sciousness of the crowd was heavily emphasized as having a son to be honored at the church in front of the whole town was the biggest achievement in one’s life during the war, however for others they were looked down upon for having nothing to contribute to the patriotic fervor (such as a son).
What are words and phrases that connotate the purpose of the War Prayer?
Words, phrases and images that connote this purpose include much imagery and words that dictate a soldier’s movements during war such as “the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the gathering momentum, the fierce pursuit-the surrender!” This imagery dictates how the townspeople picture the war to proceed as the soldiers rush in and charge, forcing the enemy to surrender, and thus bringing the country honor with a haughty win. Also sound imagery of the “bursting organ” emphasizes the ever present, ever loud fervor of patriotism and proudness that shook the town, and “shook the building,” as emphasized by this phrase. Also words such as “bronzed” heroes, who were “welcomed,” “adored,” “noble,” and “honored” reflects the high pedestal to which soldiers were put upon, as everyone looked up to them as virtual sacred saviors.
What details create the most vivid impression of the “aged stranger”?
Details that create the most vivid expression of the “aged stranger” included the diction chosen to describe his movement as “slow” and “noiseless,” similar to an elderly person’s gait. Also, the detailed description of his hair as “white,” a “frothy” cataract, and a “ghastly white” face emphasize the characteristics of an aged man. Moreover, the use of the word “ghastly” to describe the man’s pale face depict an ominous feeling of his closeness to death, versus that of a younger person.
What impact does he have on the gathered assembly when he tells them who has sent him? Significance?
The aged stranger has a very dominant, and controlling impact on the audience as he leaves them utterly spellbound and enwrapped in his presence. His grave presence can signify not only his effect on trapping the audience into his words, but also gravitating them towards the reality behind their patriotism in that they truly are wishing for enemies to be bloodily crushed and squandered, though the audience tries to mask their cruel wants with “patriotism.” The old man words were the inner voices of all the townspeople.
What is God’s message?
God’s message is that if you should mind what you ask for because your request may have adverse affects on another. Everything has an equal and opposite reaction.
What is the impact of his presenting his message in the form of a prayer?
Presenting the message in a prayer makes the message much stronger and significant in meaning because it has taken a holy and sacred form, therefore it gives the message greater attention and warning than if it were a regular speech. Also, the message takes on a graver effect in the hearts of the people as they are conflicted with this accepting this bloody messages from their holy God, not knowing that this message is the representation of all their secret, bloody desires of pain upon the enemy.
Why is the ending (last two paragraphs) so effective? (Address both content and style in your answer)
The last two paragraphs are so effective because first, the diction used is very vivid in depicting the gruesome images of war such as “bloody shreds” and “patriot dead” that the townspeople bury as to not face the true, scary reality of battle. There is also much repetition of blood, grief and death imagery which provides a sharp contrasts to the preacher’s message given to the audience that fantasizes the soldiers as invincible, sacred, and their country-imperishable-the aged stranger’s message does not sugarcoat the gruesome, inhumane and intolerable aspects of war which the people choose not to hear and believe. The aged stranger’s message is also similar to Jonathan Edward’s “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” as he gnaws at the townspeople’s pathos-their fear, their dread, their terror- emotions crammed deep inside the hearts and minds of the citizens brought upon by fear of the horrors of the consequences of war such as death and misery. Lastly, the strong rhetoric of the stranger’s messages when describing real-life experiences of war such as the “unoffending widow,” “patriot dead,” and “unfriended children” provide evidence to back up God’s message of the grave consequences the townspeople’s prayers may have on others.
Identify at least two targets of American culture that Twain is satirizing.
Twain satirizes the ubiquitous, overzealous celebration of patriotism in particularly the United States, and also overwhelming nationalism that shakes the country so greatly during times of war. Twain also satires citizens fantasy of war and soldiers as similar to Odysseus’ quest in Homer’s Odyssey in the fact that citizens believe to a great extent that soldiers are invincible, and raised to a standard of being so untouchable just like fictitious heroes such as Hercules. Twain wants to take away citizens fantasy of war being a “hero’s quest” and wants them to accept the all aspects of war- the death, drive, destruction, pain, loss- while they are honoring it so loudly at church services.
-Damascus road effect
-in order for the citizens to revert back to their original mindset, they have to call him crazy
-irony in believing “there was no sense in what he said”
whats the purpose of satire?
to improve and intended to wash or cleanse
what is the criticism of satire like?
drient (dry?), intolerant and most often unsympathetic
How does satire treat humans? why?
it doesn’t treat humans or their mistakes or follies with beneficent understanding, since the satirist’s major justification for his savage art lies in his belief in its necessity in a world constantly threatened by vulgarity, vie, pride, folly and other assorted evils created and perpetuated by man himself
whats the tone of satire?
what does satire inspire?
what aspects of society does satire attack?
those that are correctable
what are two types of satire?
horatio and juvenalian
characterized by a cheerful, urbane, tongue in cheek tone. the writer of horatian satire attempts to make readers smile at the foibles committed by the individuals under attack.
exhibits cutting, biting, bitter and angry tone. this form of satire does not attempt to cheer or amuse the audience. it points with contempt and indignation to the corruption of human being
simple abuse consisting of a series of insults, when the critic is personal and splenetic (ill humored or irritable) and intending to wound, he is using sarcasm
how does twain poke fun at civilization?
Twain uses the natural element of the river to poke fun at civilization (townspeople in mississippi).
give an example of twain making fun of the idyllic south?
(ex. chivalry [pride in social style, looking clean to the outside], the fact that plantation owners run everything
when twain emphasizes the privileged class, what is he trying to say?
he says nothing is wrong with having money but if that’s a cover for a selfish brutal mindset, he wants that to change (ex. Grangerfords -cleanliness/refinement)
give example of a juxtaposition with the grangerfords
Grangerfords are clean, pristine gentle on the outside but his eyes are dark and cold so therefore his soul is-
what does twain’s use of an innocent narrator show?
by using child narrator Huck to describe Grangerfords it shows how he is more gullible than twain and innocent in his viewpoint of people, he can’t see Grangerfords evil
how is the southern class’ refinement/manners/grandeur shown?
men brought “handsome guns” to the ball-irony
grandeur- (89-91) “brass knob, no bed in parlor, (chipped) crockery basket” chipped crockery basket shows that there are chips in the society
how is the southern class’ loyalty to their own kind shown?
kill any Shepherdson” they turn to face their enemies but not for a noble cause
how is the southern class’ courage in the face of danger and death shown?
There ain’t a coward amongst them Shepherdsons-not a one. And there ain’t no cowards amongst the Grangerfords either” (98). ← cultural struggle like Israel and Pakistan
site a hypocrisy with the grangerfords and shepherdsons
“Grangerford-Shepherdson feud”-they bring their guns to church
what an example of the attack on sir walter scott?
-uselessness linked to war, insensitive, selfish, cruel, greedy
South is obsessed with retaining the past
list an example of jim and huck’s attack on aristocrats
ridiculing convention of referencing royalty
how is tom sawyer like sir walter scott?
follows heroic tales like Sir Walter Scott
ridiculing convention of referencing royalty
list how southerners have pride in social morality
Sunday school world
Trying to Reform Pap
Widow Douglas and Miss Watson
give examples of the theme of the unnaturalness of being civilized?
order and manners, education, discipline
reduce your opponent’s argument by taking it to an absurd cruelty (ex. Sir Walter Scott)
abusive attack that lacks humor
(if critic simply abuses,)
really perceives the ridiculous, the ludicrous, and the comical (ex. When Tom and Huck steal a pie-their justification being that no one would miss the crab apple pie)
comedy characterized by ridiculous exaggeration, ludicrous or mocking imitation, vulgarizes material by mocking dignity (ex. Wicked)
secured in many ways: sublime seems ridiculous, honest emotions turned to sentimentality (ex. king pretends to be converted pirate)
composition burlesque or imitating another usually serious piece of work (king of Duke imitating Shakespeare)
writing that ridicule and satires the character or personal appearance of a person in a bitter manner (ex. Emmeline Grangerford)
writing that seizes upon certain individual qualities of a person through exaggeration (Obama’s ears, Jay’s chin)
chronicle presenting story of a rascal of low degree engaged in menial tasks and making his living ore through his wits than his industry (effort or diligence)
list the 7 qualities of picaresque satire?
1. first person that recounts life story of a rogue
2. chief figure drawn from local level of low status and “loose character” but not a villain
3. little plot
4. little character development: what changes that happens come from external forces
5. method of presentation is realistic even if story is romantic
6. satire is prominent element
7. hero stops short of being actual criminal, always draws the line between crime and petty rascality
understatement- (Aunt Sally and rats)
malapropism-mistaken use of words (orifice for office, orgy for eulogy)
black humor-regards human suffering as absurd rather than pitiable
describe huck as a narrator
huck is an unreliable narrator because his modern readers see the irony in what he has to say but sometimes huck doesn’t
(ex. the reader is more aware than huck about cruelty of regarding slaves al property whereas huck merely reflects what society has told him, like a mirror)
how is AHF a coming of age novel?
part of huck’s search for self involves his trying on different identities. huck’s struggle with his emerging adult identity is presented through increasingly ironic tone and huck’s poetic soul. since huck is conflicted about his emerging personal perspective, his tone is often dualistic because his experiences are filtered through his consciousness. his conscience is at war with itself
what sources do huck’s feelings come from?
1. society’s expectations for him was a southern boy vs what he discovers about humanity on his journey down the mississippi
2. his compassion and sympathy for life’s other downtrodden/ low lifes vs social convention of the southern code of honor
how is huck’s point of view effective?
huck has amazing insight and never lies to the reader, the effectiveness of his pov- especially as a critic of society-is actually enhanced by his ignorance of social conventions so that the plays the part of an “outsider.”
how is huck unlike tom sawyer?
tom has become totally acculturated to the decadent southern prejudice and corruption. since huck hasn’t learned a great deal from teachers or books about how to interpret cultural matters, he provides the reader with a fresh insightful examination of society. in addition his potrayl of locations and events are vividly descriptive and filled with figurative language such a smilies, metaphors, and personification. his innocence and poetic soul make huck a believable if not reliable narrator
what ultimately helps huck see beyond society’s filters?
his encounters with good truly moral people like mary jane
list themes in AHF
escape, social/moral, man’s obsession with wealth, psychological/moral, racism/slavery
theme of the story is jim and huck’s escape to freedom, it is on the picturesque level that most of the jokes and humor are presented. jIm is running away from actual slavery, huck is running away from the cruelty of his father, from the will intentioned “civilizing”, and from routine, respectability, discipline
social moral theme
satire is funny, especially the scenes with the duke and king, but it also addresses apalling violence such as the family feud or Colonel’s murder of boggs. the satire of towns along the river insists again and again the culture of the south is perverted and decadent. traditional values have gone to seed. the inhabitants can hardly live a conscious life on their own, their actions, thoughts, and emotions are preconditioned and indoctrinated by an outworn, perverted, debased, and false so called “christian” code and by a residue of biased conventions and unquestioned traditions. these semi conscious townspeople are at the mercy from scoundrels from the outside, like the duke and the king, who know exactly how to exploit their prejudices and illusions.
man’s obsession with material wealth
criticism of being driven to make money no matter what the cost- like robber barons of the gilded age
twains own personal experience with being drawn into speculative schemes to make him rich that land to near financial ruin gave him a special understanding of allure of making a quick fortune. he knew how greed and naive belief that speculating on futures is safe can make a person vulnerable to slick entrepreneurs or flim flam artists
psychological moral theme
(developing human psyche-the troubled consciousness of huck himself)
the satire of a decadent slaveholding society gains immensely in force when twain demonstrates that even the outcasted huck has been perverted by it. huck’s so called conscience in the end is not conscience with gravity or commitment. in reality his is still unconsciously tied to some degree to the attitudes that have been indoctrinated with from the biases of his southern white racial environment. but there is an impulse from the deepest part of his personality that struggles against the overlay of prejudice and false valuation imposed on all members of society in the name of religion, morality, law and genteel refinement. it is these false appearances against which huck has an impulse to struggle. in this connection, its an important discovery of huck’s psyche in his capacity for love
in exposing the hypocrisy of slavery, twain demonstrated how racism distorts the oppressors as much as is does those who are oppressed.
what three evils of slavery does twain criticize?
1. slavery itself was evil and a tough practice to justify
2. the fact that antebellum southerners fostered and depended on slavery is also evil
3. the sentimental veneer with which that society concealed its evil from itself, if not from others, is particularly evil