The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain

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In the short story, “The Jumping Frog” by Mark Twain, the narrator is out to find a man named Simon Wheeler; he finds Simon in a small mining town called Angel’s Camp. The narrator’s friend instructed him to ask Simon about a person named Leonidas W. Smiley, so Simon starts up a tangent about a different man with a similar name— Jim Smiley. The uninteresting story he tells him is about how Jim was tricked by a stranger in a frog-jumping contest; the stranger drugged Jim’s frog in order to win the forty dollars Jim bet on.

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During the story, Simon mentions that Jim owns a small, bulldog puppy named Andrew Jackson. Not a lot of people would name their dog after the 7th president, so there must be a reason why Jim would possibly name him that. In fact, the puppy is described in the short story as, “ A little small bull-pup… you’d think he warn’t worth a cent… But as soon as money was up on him he was a different dog; his under-jaw’d begin to stick out like the fo’castle of a steamboat… his teeth would uncover and shine like the furnaces… a dog might tackle him and bully-rag him, and bite him, and throw him over his shoulder… Andrew Jackson….would never let on but what he was satisfied…” (paragraph 6) Even though the bulldog seems like he wouldn’t be able to put up much of a fight against other dogs, when money was bet on Andrew, he would never let go of the opponent’s leg until the fight was over; he might seem fragile and tiny on the outside, but his guts are certainly impressive. This display of braveness and fierceness is similar to the personality of the 7th president, Andrew Jackson.

For example, when Jackson was only 13, he joined the local militia and was captured by the British. One day, when a British officer ordered him to clean his boots, Jackson boldly replied,” “Sir, I am a prisoner of war and I demand to be treated as such.” Another example is when he was challenged to a duel by a slave trader named Dickinson; Dickinson shot first, but Jackson refused to fall down. Instead, he merely stiffened, raised his arm, and shot him down with a single shot; Jackson would live the rest of his life with a bullet lodged dangerously close to his heart. These actions prove that Jackson is a force to be reckoned with; he is extremely daring and bold. His personality is extremely similar to the bulldog’s, which is a reason why he was named after Andrew Jackson.

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The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain. (2021, May 24). Retrieved from