Truth-Telling and Democracy: Mark Twain's "The Story of the Bad Little Boy" and "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"


Mark Twain, who employed both humor and satire in his writings, was a master of American realism. This artistic movement arose during the Civil War and sought to portray reality accurately and truthfully. Twain’s realism also had a democratic aim—it is anti-aristocratic, egalitarian, and supports natural rights.


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Kelly Scott Franklin is assistant professor of English at Hillsdale College, where he teaches American literature and the great books. He received his M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College, an M.A. in English from The Catholic University of America, and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He has written for numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Commonweal, Comparative American Studies, The Federalist, and the Catholic World Report.