Q:

What is a summary of "The Californian's Tale" by Mark Twain?

A:

"The Californian's Tale" by Mark Twain is a short story about a man, Henry, waiting for his wife to come home. What the narrator and reader do not know until the end of the story is that Henry's wife has been dead for 19 years.

The narrator of the story is a stranger to a town where he meets Henry who talks incessantly about his wife. The narrator goes to a party at Henry's house with other friends to welcome Henry's wife home. Right before she is due back, Henry is drugged by his friends and falls asleep. Later the friends tell the narrator that Henry's wife disappeared 19 years ago on the way back from visiting her mother. She was kidnapped by Native Americans and never heard from again. As a result, Henry went mad. He lives each year waiting for his wife to come home. It is only during the week of her disappearance that he gets truly anxious. This is where the friends come in. They check up on Henry, talk to him about his wife, let Henry read them an old letter and finally throw a party. At the exact moment that his wife should arrive home, they drug Henry so that he can sleep peacefully through the night.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is Chaucer satirizing in "The Pardoner's Tale?"

    A:

    In "The Pardoner's Tale," Geoffrey Chaucer is satirizing the traveling member of the clergy who is selling "Get Out of Hell Free" cards, which is another way of defining the indulgences that they had for sale. In the story, the pardoner is in a group heading to the shrine at Canterbury, but he also admits readily to cheating beggars out of their money. This story satirizes the work that the clergy did at that time, selling forgiveness to the highest bidder instead of requiring repentance.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a summary of the short story "Luck" by Mark Twain?

    A:

    "Luck" is about an English captain named Lord Arthur Scoresby who seems to be a complete idiot but, despite his incompetence, is so lucky that he manages to be acclaimed as a hero and a military genius. The story is narrated by a clergyman who is obviously envious of the captain's success. It is unclear whether the captain is truly incompetent or only appears so in the clergyman's eyes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is "The Pardoner's Tale" about?

    A:

    "The Pardoner's Tale" from Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" tells a moral tale against the sins of gluttony, blaspheming, drinking and gambling in which three young men die because of their greed. The Pardoner's overriding theme is that greed is the root of all evil.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why does Huck want to save Jim Turner?

    A:

    According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, in the novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, Huck wants to save the black slave Jim Turner because, despite the ubiquitous racial prejudices of the era, Huck has come to love and respect Jim. During the course of his adventures with Jim, Huck's good nature moves him to regard Jim as a friend.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore