The Conversation Begins

Camil Tulcan

This blog is a forum for your group and your classmates to have a conversation about Mark Twain’s satirical story, A Fable.  After analyzing the story, you will develop a well written post.  You may want to find or create images and other media to express your ideas. As you and your group members contribute posts, read each others’ ideas and make thoughtful comments.

 


Anthony B. says Mark Twain uses point of view and dialog to create characterization, which is used to develop the theme of individual perspective.

OnceuponatimeA Fable by Mark Twain is a story about animals in a forest, and when they hear about an artists painting and how beautiful it is when viewed through a mirror.

Mark Twain uses point of view and dialog to create characterization, which is used to develop the theme of individual perspective.

“What is a mirror?”
“It is a hole in the wall,” said the cat. “You look in it, and there you see the picture, and it is so dainty and charming and ethereal and inspiring in its unimaginable beauty that your head turns round and round, and you almost swoon with ecstasy.”-(pg.806)

Project 365: Day 18: "The Other Side"

This dialog reveals character because the dialog is used in such a way that you get to know how the cat thinks, and who he is. This dialog reveals the cat’s character in a way that you feel like you know him. This dialog reveals cat as a knowledgeable “person” who is willing to share the knowledge to improve the happiness in others. This shows him as a kind character, willing to share his knowledge with others. In other words he could be termed the wise man of the town.

“But he did not know where he ought to stand; and so, through error, he stood between the picture and the mirror. The result was that the picture had no chance, and didn’t show up. He returned home and said: “The cat lied. There was nothing in that hole but an ass. There wasn’t a sign of a flat thing visible. It was a handsome ass, and friendly, but just an ass, and nothing more.”-(pg.807)

This is third person point of view, we know this because it uses he, instead of I or you. Twain uses this because over the course of the story it allows each character to have their own individual perspective and not have it clouded by that of others. This lets each character state their views, while holding their own view and allowing others to consider theirs untruthful. Twain uses point of view to be able to allow the ass’ view to be used, and still later in the story have everything make sense by describing the other animal’s views, without filling them with personal bias, as would have been done had it been done from first or second person points of view. The character development is a necessity throughout this story, and so the ability to present unbiased, multiple, view points is a necessity to the whole story.

“When he returned, he abused his whole subjectry for liars, and was in an unappeasable fury with the moral and mental blindness of the cat. He said that anybody but a near-sighted fool could see that there was nothing in the hole but an elephant.”-(pg.808)

Big 5 - Elephant

The controlling nature of the Elephant is used here to develop why the elephant considers himself in absolute control, and also presents his whole view. His view shows that he demeans others unethically, and holds his perspective on things to be the only truth that exists. His character is used here to show that he thinks himself above others, and that he considers it true that he is above them in every way. This characterization is used to show perspective.The theme of individual perspective is created throughout the story in an attempt to make the cat’s moral-

“You can find in a text whatever you bring, if you will stand between it and the mirror of your imagination. You may not see your ears, but they will be there.” page 808

Trail Running - Sky Lakes Wilderness

-make complete sense. Individual perspective is the theme in this story. It is used because each of the character’s perspective is all they believe. Twain is using perspective to show that if you only believe your perspective then you will never know the whole picture, never know the absolute truth, and this is what the cat’s moral is trying to say.

George S. says Mark Twain reveals character through dialog

My story is A Fable, it’s a fable story by Mark Twain about how the animals were sent to look in the mirror only finding that they’re looking at themselves.

Mark Twain reveals character through dialog, by revealing the animal’s personalities.

In page 806 for the first conflict,

‘”It is a flat thing,” he said; “wonderfully flat, marvelously flat, enchantingly flat and elegant. And oh so beautiful.”

This sentence is now revealing character because, here by using this one sentence, we can imaginably see the cat speaking to his audience and how the cat is acting. This is evidence of dialog because, here the cat is revealing his personality of being smart by using big words to describe what a picture is like using the words enchantingly,marvelously, and elegant. Otherwise if the cat is stupid, then he would’ve only said something like super, really, and very or whatever.

Who are you?

In page 807 for the second conflict,

“He returned home and said; “The cat lied. There was nothing in that hole but an ass. There wasn’t a sign of a flat thing visible. It was a handsome ass, and friendly, but just an ass, and nothing more.”

This paragraph is showing us character because, here we can see the ass returning home, reporting that the cat lied and went into detail about what he saw in the mirror. This is evidence of dialog because, here the ass is revealing his personality of being a detailed like person by describing what he observed. Otherwise, if the ass wasn’t a detailed like person, then he only would’ve said a few words like, “The cat lied, there’s just an ass, no visible flat thing” something like that.

In page 808 for the third conflict,

“This is very strange,” said the elephant; “the cat was always truthful before-as far as we could make out. Let another witness try. Go, Baloo, look in the hole, and come and report.”

This sentence is showing us character because, here, using those sentences, we can imagine how confused the elephant is and how he’s commanding Baloo (the bear) to do what he was told. This is evidence of dialog because, here the elephant is revealing his personality of taking command like a leader, like how he commanded Baloo to look in the mirror. Otherwise, if the elephant wasn’t a leader, then he wouldn’t have commanded Baloo to look in the mirror.

Chris C. says Mark twain uses Dialog to reveal Character in the story, A fable.

While I was reading the story “A fable” by Mark twain, I noticed a ton of dialog creating  a ton of characterization. All of the animals in this story have distinct personality and a ton of other quality’s that make them unique in their own way. This blog will  show how Mark twain uses Dialog to reveal Character in this fun story.

“It is a flat thing.” he said “wonderfully flat,
marvelously flat, enchantingly flat and elegant.”
That exited them almost to a frenzy, and they said
they would give the world to see it. Then the Bear asked:
“What is it that makes it so beautiful?” “The looks of it.”
said the house cat.           Page 806

This shows that the House Cat is very knowledgeable about things that the other animals don’t know about. (Since they are outdoor animals.) I also like how the Cat describes the painting. So flat and so elegant. He definitely knows what he is talking he is talking about when he does talk about something.

The House Cat uses words that show that he’s Royal, Smart, Clever and very well spoken, I mean this
is not a dumb Cat we are talking about here. When you know words like, elegant or enchantingly. You
really deserve some royalty and also shows that you are smart and well spoken.

“The Cat Lied. There was nothing there but a
Donkey. There was no sign of any thing flat
visible. It was a handsome Donkey, and
nothing more.” The elephant asked:
“Did you see it good and clear? Where you close
by it?” ” I saw it good and clear, O Hathi, King
of The Beasts. I was so close that I touched
noses with it.” said the Donkey      Page 807

This shows that the other animals where not nearly as smart as the Cat. Like I said before
They wouldn’t know how to see the painting in the mirror.

The Donkey said that the Cat lied. But thanks to Him being less educated than the Cat he wouldn’t
think to find the painting and stand at the side of the mirror. And then he would see the painting in
the mirror. I mean think about it smart alack.

When he returned, he abused his whole subjectry
for liars, and was in an unappeasable fury with
the moral and mental blindness the Cat. He said
That anybody but a near-sighted fool could see
that there was nothing in the hole but an Elephant.               Page 808

At this point all of the animals saw them selves in the mirror. But they they thought it was
another of their species. For example when the Elephant went over to check it out. He said that
only a near-sighted fool would see that there was an Elephant in the “hole”.

This shows that the Elephant is more well spoken than the other animals, but not by much. I mean
He uses near-sighted fool in a sentence. Again, he should have found the painting first, and THEN look into the mirror at the side But I might be thinking a little too much about this whole thing.

 

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Parker D. says Mark Twain reveals the theme of ignorance and curiosity through plot

“It is a flat thing,” he said; “wonderfully flat, marvelously flat, enchantingly flat and elegant. And, oh, so, beautiful!” That excited them almost to a frenzy, and they said they would give the world to see it.” (pg. 806)

The cat is telling all of the other animals about a mirror and how cool it was to look at. The cat had probably had seen it before and knew that it was just a mirror. He was trying to trick the animals into thinking that it was “oh, so, beautiful!” because the other animals were so empty-minded and ignorant.

Mark Twain is using the plot to develop the theme of ignorance and curiosity by showing how the animals react to what a cat tells them about a mirror.

“He would go and look in that hole, and come back and tell what he found there. The animals felt relieved and asked him to go at once– Which he did.” …”The cat lied. There was nothing in that hole but an
ass. There wasn’t a sign of a flat thing visible. It was a handsome ass, and friendly, but just an ass, and nothing more.” (pg. 807)

The donkey went to look on the mirror and saw his reflection and thought it was a painting of a donkey.
He came back and told the animals that what the cat told them was a lie.

Mirror mirror on the floor....

Mark twain uses plot to develop the theme of ignorance and curiosity by showing how the        donkey thought a mirror was a painting of itself.

 “So the bear went. When he came back, he said: “Both the cat and the ass have                lied; there was nothing in the hole but a bear.” Great was the surprise and                        puzzlement of the animals.” (pg. 808)

Every one of the animals went to look at the mirror one at a time, and they all thought it         was a painting of themselves. None of them trusted anyone else, and every one of them           thought that they were telling the truth. The cat took advantage of them and made all               the animals argue with one another.

Mark Twain uses plot to reveal the theme of ignorance and curiosity by showing that all of the animals thought a mirror was a painting of themselves, and they all disagreed with one another. They were all outsmarted by a clever cat.

Jorden B. says Mark Twain develops Character through Dialog

“A Fable” By Mark Twain, Through all the dialog in this story I have found out a lot of characters personality through Mark Twain’s writing. Which helped me be able to understand the story much easier.
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It is a flat thing,” he said; “wonderfully flat, marvelously
flat, enchantingly flat and elegant. And, oh, so beautiful!”
That excited them almost to a frenzy, and they said they would give the world to see it. Then the bear asked: “What is it that makes it so beautiful?”
“It is the look of it,” said the cat. Pg. 806

This is Dialog because the cat is talking in a conversation with the bear explaining the mirror to him.

This part of Dialog develops character because
it starts to show that he is becoming refined, polite, and truthful. It shows this because the cat is talking in a very polite tone and language and being truthful with his words.

” The cat lied. There was nothing in that hole but an ass.
There wasn’t a sign of a flat thing visible. It was a handsome ass, and friendly, but an ass, nothing more.”
The elephant asked:
“Did you see it good and clear? Were you close to it?”
“I saw it good and clear, O Hathi, King of Beasts. I was so close that I touched noses with it.”
” This is very strange,” said the elephant; “the cat is always truthful…” Pg. 807

This is evidence of Dialog because it is showing the
Ass talking to the Elephant in a conversation about the mirror.

This part of Dialog develops Character because it shows how maybe the cat isn’t always truthful and can sometimes lie. It shows this because the Ass said that all he could see in the mirror was an ass but the cat said that he could see a cat.

“Go, Baloo, look in the hole, and come and report.”
So the bear went. When he came back he said:
“Both the cat and the ass have lied; there was nothing in the hole but a bear.” Pg. 808

This is evidence of Dialog because it shows that the elephant told the bear to go to the mirror and see it for himself and when he came back it he talks about what he saw to the elephant.

This part of Dialog develops Character because it shows how the cat maybe wasn’t the only one not being truthful. It shows this because the elephant sent the bear to go and look at the mirror and came back and said ” Both the ass and the cat were wrong; there was nothing in the hole but a bear.”

 

Kyli B. says that Mark Twain uncovers the theme of perspective through dialogue, thoughts, and actions.

A fable, by Mark Twain pulled me straight in with only a few sentences, and kept me pulled in for the whole entire story until it came to the end, and then I was left with only my thoughts, and trying to imagine animals talking and standing in front of mirrors. Mark Twain showed me through his short story that you can reveal many themes through many forms of dialogue, actions, and thoughts. Here are a few examples, and why they are evidence towards this claim.

“So the bear went. When he came back, he said: “Both the cat and the ass have lied; there was nothing in the hole but a bear.”

This dialogue is evidence because, after the bear went, he only saw himself, and so did all of the other animals. The cow only saw a cow, the tiger only saw a tiger, the lion only saw a lion, and so on. This supports my claim that what the bear said, and what the animals saw, state that, 1. You only see what you want to see,2. Everyone has a different way to look at something,3.Mirrors reflect what is in front of them. This is also evidence that thoughts help theme because all the animals THINK that they’re right, and they THINK they saw the true picture when really there is no true picture except for you own true picture. They’re all right, yet they’re all wrong. Mark Twain shows  perspective and point of view through the animals, dialogue, thoughts,and actions. Here is another piece from the text, that stands as evidence.

Thus the elephant went to see for himself. He said that, “anybody but a near-sighted fool could s This supports the theme that everyone has their own perspective on things, and there is no right or wrong way to look at something. This also supports the claim that the actions of characters help build theme. In many ways, the main purpose or theme of this story is criticizing art critiques. Because, no one is right, and no one is wrong, and everyone has their own version of beauty and their own version of correct. Which is art, isn’t it? ee that there was nothing in the hole but an elephant.”

At the end of the fable, there is a moral by the cat that says, Youcanfindin

My understanding of this is  that the cats idea of theme and such, is that you only see what you want to see, and you only see what you put forth. My final thoughts on this topic are that Mark Twain did an excellent, sometimes confusing, but overall, a very well job of helping his readers deeply understand the theme or story behind this piece of “art”.