The Bad Little Boy by Mark Twain - Essay Example

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The Bad Little Boy by Mark Twain

It is evidently clear from the discussion that Twain’s purpose in the story is to present that not all the bad boys in stories have a change of heart in its conclusion and have a happy ending because they changed from being bad to good but that in real life, bad characters also succeed. Twain’s mention of Sunday school books a number of times to compare their bad boy James to his bad boy Jim emphasizes the difference between the two characters although they have a similar name. Sunday school stories, known for the moral lessons derived from the stories indicate that the character of James is round, developing from being a nuisance to the charming boy everyone wants while Twain aims to present his Jim as a challenge to face realities that there indeed are flat characters like Jim who are static, bad from the beginning to the end of the story. The frequent contradictions of James and Jim in the story establish a strong foundation for this theory. For instance, when Jim sneaked into the pantry for some jam, it was mentioned that he did not do as the other bad boys do in other stories, feeling sorry for their bad actions, kneeling and praying then telling their mothers what bad things they did and asking for forgiveness. Instead, it mentions that the opposite happened to Jim which now puts him in a different category, that instead of becoming better, he became worst, even feeling happy for what he did and prepared for what spanking and discipline that would come from his mother. ...Show more


Mark Twain’s “The Bad Little Boy” is a short story that tells about its subject which is also the title of the story, told in a third person’s point of view and presented with humor as the story-teller wonders at the characteristics of the main character.

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