HUMA 1780 Big Bear of Arkansas

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14 Apr 2012
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HUMA 1780 BIG BEAR & BIG FISH JANURARY 24TH 2012
Big Bear of Arkansas (In course reader)
Exaggeration of detail and character type as a source of humour in tall tales
Frontier humorous: 19th century journalists, who start to begin to write tall tales
Important to notice how the reader is placed in the steamboat
Steamboat called “the invincible”
You have a sense of place, you’re given the type of talk, and the diversity of passengers on the
steam boat
Unnamed narrator states a hetero genius load of passengers
Performance context: this story is taken place on a steamboat in Mississippi in a particular time
and place, and who the stories being told to
Performance context: Who’s the story being told to? Who’s telling the story? Where is the
storytelling event taking place?
Unnamed narrator is instantly demarked as separated from the passengers, because he’s only
watching, he removes himself from the other passengers and the context
The framing narrator the first and last two paragraphs of the story
What is emphasized in the story is the steamboat as a meeting place as a place for diverse
characters
“Story of the hunt”
Unnamed narrator: an observer, watches the interactions of the other passengers
Up to date, proper and standard English, position’s himself as a reader’s narrator’s guide
Unnamed narrator of the narrative frame is an outside observer. And we too as readers are
assumed to be outside as well.
Primary narrator: big bar
Framing narrative: applications in Tay John, Big bear of Arkansas, big fish
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