One theme of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County" deals with lies and deceit. While the reader sees how deceitful the stranger is who tricks Jim Smiley, the protagonist, it is also Smiley himself who is deceitful. Smiley tries to trick people into believing the animals he bets with are lame or disabled with no chance of winning the bet. However, he oftentimes wins the bet.Continue Reading
Schmoop says Smiley is "righteously indignant," meaning he is angry in such a way that he feels that is the rightful emotion after the stranger tricks him by putting quail shots in the frog named Dan'l Webster. It appears Smiley is getting paid back for his own lies and deceit, although some say he is just being clever.
The distinction between honest and dishonest cleverness is another theme. Jim Smiley is clever in how he fools others with the animals he uses while betting. Although he is being clever, despite not being particularly well-educated or well-spoken, he is not lying to or cheating his opponents like the stranger does. What this boils down to is morality. Cleverness in and of itself is not dishonest, but the way the stranger wins the frog bet is clever but in a dishonest way.Learn more about Classics
The theme of the short story "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates is both the bond and the strain present within the relationship between a mother and daughter. The story's theme is one many mothers and their daughters can relate to.Full Answer >
The main theme of “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury is the speculative influence of seemingly unimportant events from the past to the present time. The first to introduce the scientific foundations of such influence was Edward Lorenz, a decade after the publication of Bradbury’s story.Full Answer >
The main theme of Thomas Beckett's absurdist play "Waiting for Godot" is the struggle between faith and nihilism, the belief that nothing of significance or meaning happens in the world. Though senseless things happen in the play, the main characters continue waiting, hopeful that Godot will show up.Full Answer >
In the French novel "The Guest," author Albert Camus implies an ambiguous theme that explores how to be hospitable, yet true to personal values and beliefs. The main character, Daru, struggles with his beliefs about European justice and the wrongdoings of his Arab guest, while working to stay within the boundaries of the hospitality and social obligations of hosting this guest, who is a prisoner.Full Answer >