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Mrs. McWilliams and the Lightning by Mark Twain : A Commentary

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Published date
documents in English
4 pages
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  1. Story
  2. Humor
  3. Characters and their relationships
  4. Who is the narrator? An interesting point of view
  5. Language
  6. Climax and anticlimax

The story apparently takes place in a carriage of a train and it is told by a certain Mr. McWilliams to the listener, who is in fact re-telling and transmitting Mr. McWilliams words. We have only a part of his so called 'talk', which actually resembles more a tall-tale than anything else and which has already been going on for a while. The narrator announces what he is going to talk about from the very beginning, 'the fear of lightning is one of the most distressing infirmities a human being can be afflicted with' he says. The narrator is apparently sharing a personal experience connected with lightning. The basic purpose of the story is to create humour by recounting in an anecdotal way, the events of one night when the wife of the narrator, Mrs. McWilliams, was woken up by a thunderstorm and hid from it in a closet. By the end of the story it turns out that the noise was actually coming from a canon and not from lightning.

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