Literary Elements In The Mysterious Stranger By Mark Twain

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Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger is a novella featuring the experiences three young boys have with a supernatural creature named Satan. Mark Twain, whose writings had begun to reflect the darkness that resided in his mind, attempted several versions of the story and died before it was finished. His editors took over and wrote the rest before it was finally published in 1916. Possessing literary elements of strong narrative structure, unique setting, complex characterization and dark romanticism, this narrative made for an engrossing and peculiar account of Satan. These elements are furthermore crucial to the analysis and deeper understanding of what exists within the text.
Narrative structure is the foundation for a story; it provides the framework and how the text is presented to the readers. In The Mysterious Stranger, Twain takes his audience to the winter of 1590 in the Austrian village of Eseldorf. Three boys, Nikolaus, Seppi, and Theodor have multiple encounters with a handsome, stunning creature named Satan, who claims to be an angel. They are amazed at all the magic Satan is capable of and the stories he tells them, and the boys become very quickly attached. They find themselves witnessing the work of Satan as he alters the villagers’ lives, such as the Priest, the astrologer, Ursula and Marget, and even Nikolaus. While his work seems to always end in disaster, he gives a plethora of excuses to soothe the boys’ minds. Throughout the story, Satan constantly brings

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