The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

by

Mark Twain

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Celebrated Jumping Frog can help.

Smiley’s Pets’ Names Symbol Analysis

Smiley’s Pets’ Names Symbol Icon

The names of Jim Smiley’s two prized pets, Dan’l Webster and Andrew Jackson (his frog and bulldog, respectively), symbolize regional differences in the country because the names hearken back to two important politicians hailing from different parts of the country who fought each other’s policies. In real life, Daniel Webster and Andrew Jackson were political adversaries. Indeed, Webster was a conservative senator from the East who led the opposition to the policies of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, who was born and raised in the South. Unlike Jackson, Webster lost all three of his presidential elections. During their lifetimes, the politicians Webster and Jackson pursued different ideologies and career paths for enacting those beliefs, but they were both working toward the common goal of improving their country, the United States. Likewise, the bulldog and the frog compete in fundamentally different competitions (dog fights and jumping competitions, respectively), but they have different strengths that work toward the common good of making Smiley rich. By unifying two celebrity enemies within his own home, a symbolic United States, Smiley acts as glue binding his replicated country together.

Rather than focus on the friction between the different cultures and ideologies found across the United States, this story seeks to celebrate and preserve their unique identities. In naming two of his most beloved pets after two famous and diametrically opposed political figures, Smiley gracefully unites his own versions of the political enemies—hailing from different parts of the country—in his own backyard. In this way, Smiley brings together the regional differences in the country and demonstrates how their various strengths can be united into one whole.

Smiley’s Pets’ Names Quotes in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

The The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County quotes below all refer to the symbol of Smiley’s Pets’ Names. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Regional Differences Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam Dell edition of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County published in 1957.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County Quotes

“But as soon as money was up on him he was a different dog; his under-jaw'd begin to stick out like the fo'castle of a steamboat, and his teeth would uncover and shine like the furnaces.”

Related Characters: Simon Wheeler (speaker), Jim Smiley, Narrator
Related Symbols: Smiley’s Pets’ Names
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

“He ketched a frog one day, and took him home, and said he cal'lated to educate him; and so he never done nothing for three months but set in his back yard and learn that frog to jump.”

Related Characters: Simon Wheeler (speaker), Jim Smiley, Narrator
Related Symbols: Smiley’s Pets’ Names
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

“Smiley said all a frog wanted was education, and he could do 'most anything—and I believe him.”

Related Characters: Simon Wheeler (speaker), Jim Smiley, Narrator
Related Symbols: Smiley’s Pets’ Names
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

“[…] the new frog hopped off lively, but Dan'l give a heave, and hysted up his shoulders—so—like a Frenchman, but it warn't no use—he couldn't budge; he was planted as solid as a church, and he couldn't no more stir than if he was anchored out.”

Related Characters: Simon Wheeler (speaker), Jim Smiley, Narrator, The Stranger
Related Symbols: Smiley’s Pets’ Names
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Celebrated Jumping Frog LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County PDF

Smiley’s Pets’ Names Symbol Timeline in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

The timeline below shows where the symbol Smiley’s Pets’ Names appears in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
Jim Smiley also owned and trained a small bulldog named Andrew Jackson . Jackson didn’t look like a very good fighter; according to Simon Wheeler, “to look... (full context)
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
Once, Andrew Jackson was put into a fight with a dog that didn’t have back legs. As usual,... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
...chicken-cocks, and tomcats. One day, he found and brought home a frog that he named Dan’l Webster . He decided to train him—“he cal’lated to educated him”—and began teaching the frog how... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
...months, Jim Smiley did nothing but sit in his backyard and teach his pet frog, Dan’l Webster , how to jump higher. Smiley trained the frog to jump on command when he... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
Dan’l Webster won many bets in frog-jumping competitions. He was very good at jumping from flat surfaces... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
One day, a stranger came to town. Jim Smiley had brought Dan’l Webster downtown in a box in order to find someone to place a bet with. The... (full context)
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
The stranger took the box holding Dan’l Webster from Jim Smiley and carefully analyzed the frog. Upon returning the box to Smiley, he... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
Considering Jim Smiley’s bet that his frog, Dan’l Webster , could outjump any frog in the county, the stranger said, in a “kinder sad-like”... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
...decided to go find him a frog in the swamp. He left the box holding Dan’l Webster with the stranger for safekeeping and set off to catch a frog. (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
...off catching a frog in the muddy swamp, the stranger sat with the box holding Dan’l Webster and waited, thinking. Eventually, he took Webster out of his box, pried his mouth open,... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
...their frogs in order to get them to jump. The stranger’s frog flew off, but Dan’l Webster remained planted on the ground. Smiley was bewildered and disgusted, but he honored the bet... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
...his thumb over his shoulder and informed Smiley that he didn’t see anything special about Dan’l Webster in comparison to any other frogs, repeating, “I don't see no p'ints about that frog... (full context)
Integrity and Community Theme Icon
Bewildered by Dan’l Webster ’s behavior, Jim Smiley investigated what could be the matter with him. When Smiley picked... (full context)