Blue and White of Mark Twain

Written by Anuradha Sowmyanarayanan |

Samuel Langhorne Clemens otherwise Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri in 1835. As a story teller, he has greater variety and a steadier outlook on life; with greater force and intensity at his best if less poignancy. His nom-de- plume came to him while as a pilot he was working on the Mississippi, and he would often hear the cry of warning   “Mark Twain” or “In two Fathom.” Thus he seized on the name and used it for his work.

One of the many great works of Mark Twain is “A Tramp Aboard” {dealing with European places, especially Switzerland} Travel experiences are drawn freely.” The stolen white Elephant & Blue Jays” are part of this great deal.

In Blue Jays Jim Baker is a Birdwatcher & he observes that after long and careful observation he had come to the conclusion that the Blue Jays were the best talkers he had found among birds and beasts. And another thing, I’ve noticed a good deal, and there’s no bird, or cow, or anything that uses as proper grammar as a blue jay…………...Now I’ve never heard a jay use bad grammar but very seldom; and when they do, they are as ashamed as a human; they shut right down and leave.” When I first began to understand jay language correctly, there was a little incident happened here, .seven years ago the last man in this region but me moved away. There stands his house been empty ever since: a log house with a plank roof-just one big room and no more: no ceiling- nothing between the rafters and the floor.

Suddenly a blue jay lit on that house, with an acorn in his mouth, and says,” Hello, I reckon I’ve struck something, “When he spoke, the acorn dropped out of his mouth and rolled down the roof, of course, but he didn’t care; his mind was all on the thing he had struck. It was a knot hole in the roof.

The story moves around the jay fetching many & more acorns to fill the hole. His energy, his determination & his hurry brings many of his companions to join this race. Many blue jays set around the hole; expressing their opinions, and examined the hole clearly. Finally, one old jay happened to go and light on it and look in. of course, that knocked the mystery galley-west in a second. There lay the acorns, scattered all over the floor. He flopped his wings and raised a whoop. “come here, everybody; hanged if this fool hasn’t been trying to fill up a house with acorns!”

Mark Twain was quite successful in writing about blue jays and manages to set us chuckling about the human family. “ They all came a swooping down like a blue cloud, and as each fellow lit on the door and took a glance, the whole absurdity of the contract that the first jay had tackled hit him home, and he fell over backward suffocating with laughter, and the next jay took his place and done the same.

IN the story ‘THE STOLEN WHITE ELEPHANT” – A Indian civil service personnel was given the responsibility of handing over the gift to her majesty queen of Britain.

“A hip was fitted out for me and my servants and the officers and attendants of the Elephant, and in due time I arrived in New York harbor and placed my royal charge in admirable quarters in Jersey City. It was necessary to remain awhile in order to recruit the animal’s health before resuming the voyage. All went well during a fortnight then my calamities began. The white Elephant was stolen!"

Mark Twain’s description of Elephant is so natural & extravagant. The conversion between the Elephant in charge & Inspector Blunt to register a complaint against the stolen elephant is the colorful language of a master storyteller.

“Name of the Elephant?

”Hassan Ben Ali Ben  selim Abdallah mohammed moise Alhammal jamset je jeebhoy Dhuleep sultan ebu Bhudpoor.”

“ very well’ given name?”


“ very well. Place of birth?”

“ The capital city of siam.”

“parents  living?”

 No, - dead.’

 Had they any other issue besides this one?”

“None. He was an only child.”

“Very well.”

General quantity at a meal,- say about-“well, anywhere from a quarter to half a ton.”

“And he drinks-“

“Everything that is fluid. Milk, water, whiskey, molasses, castor oil, camphene, carbolic acid………..

“Very good.  As to quantity ?”

“Put it down five to fifteen barrels, - his thirst varies; his other appetites do not.”

“These things are unusual. They ought to furnish quite good clues toward tracing him.”

Detailing Detectives, information forwarded by telegraph, portraying of Blunt, Role of Newspapers, Glaring headlines, increasing the reward amount, all these particulars enhance the savor of the readers, in turn, they engage more intensely.

The duo, Blue & White of Mark Twain are remarkable. His works carry honesty and popularity. Reading about Bluejays and white Elephant throws light on the animals that are close to humans

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Author: Anuradha Sowmyanarayanan
I'm a blogger with two years of blogging experience. I do book reviews, compose poems and write articles on food, art &decor.
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)


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