Mark Twain “The quintessential American humorist, lecturer, essayist.” Missouri born Southern Gentleman, however he was also opposed to slavery. Many of his works have been controversial, if not banned for their revolutionary way of thinking.
BACKGROUND In May of 1884, Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) and his good friend, Joe Twichell, tried to learn how to ride a bicycle. The bicycle was a new invention, and it became more difficult a task for Clemens than riding a horse, which he didn’t like either.
According to Clemens, it was a painful and short-lived experience. This essay was 3,400 words long, and he was not happy with it, so it was not published until after his death. About the Essay
HUMOR?! LETS START WITH THE TITLE! The Taming of the Shrew
FROM “THE TAMING OF THE SHREW” TO “TAMING THE BICYCLE” We tame things that are unruly, or wild and beastly. Describing the process of riding a bike in this way is funny!
Project: See the additional attachments to download the short story. You must complete all of the questions and do the project for full credit.
Focus Points: Tiller = Steering Wheel Ponds Extract – grease for bicycle Rolling Joke – A repeated punch line that becomes more humorous the more often it is used. Secondary characters: Pay attention to the Instructor, spectators and even animals within this story. Consider how they must feel as they all fall victim to Twain’s clumsy riding.