A Fable by Mark Twain

John Alarcon American Lit. Mr. Mason Research paper “A Fable” by Mark Twain- Close reading In this short story a painting is the reason for the occurrences described. Animals in this story are portrayed in a human like manner, each having their own ideas and feelings and a common method of communication. The painter’s cat is portrayed as a well-mannered and intelligent being. In the sentence “The animals out in the woods heard of this through the housecat, who was greatly admired by them because he was so learned…” the cat is made to look astute because the other animals are oblivious to many of the things he tells them.

To a human, what the cat says may not sound accurate or right but to a group of animals that’s don’t know any better the cat seems brilliant. The vocabulary used by the cat to describe the painting and the mirror, also indicated that the cat is smart. The adjectives he uses are large and descriptive, the way he speaks and constructs his sentences shows how his level of thinking is superior. The Other animals were not described and interacted with in-depth enough to identify a personality for each of them.

They were all made to be similar to one another because they were all in the same situation with the same opinions and ideas toward the painting . The only animal that stood out besides the cat was the ass. This being that he was the only one to have a doubt in the toward the greatly admired cat’s story. The cat aroused the interest and curiosity of the animals. He was the one that informed then of said painting. It was the doubts of the ass that provoked the animals to finally get a look at the painting. The ass was the first to investigate the situation; all the other animals after him got the same result from looking in the mirror.

They stood in front of the painting which and all they saw was a reflection of themselves. Being that a different animal looked in the mirror every time, every animal got there own unique reflection of them self’s and were convinced it was the only thing inside the mirror and there was no “dainty and charming” painting. What the author is trying to explain in this story is that every person has their own meaning and opinion to a story. The painting being a story or work of literature and the mirror being your imagination that gives its own unique reflection and understanding of the text.

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