the_mysterious_stranger - PEREZ 1 Lizette Perez ENG 102 (8)...

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PEREZ Lizette Perez ENG 102 (8) Research Paper, Final Draft July 24, 2006 Life is a Dream In “The Mysterious Stranger,” by Mark Twain, a young boy looks with his own eyes at the nature of humanity. Theodor is a young boy that lives in Eseldorf, a little town in Austria. He has spent all his life in this town, where the people “mainly were trained to be good Christians; to revere the Virgin, the Church, and the saints above everything. Beyond these matters [they] were not required to know much; and, in fact, not allowed to”(Twain 1). His ideas are somehow close-minded due to this method of teaching. He lives in a town where appearance seems to be the answer for everything. The people are mainly followers; they prefer to do what others suppose is correct instead of following their instincts. Theodor has two best friends, Nikolaus Bauman and Seppi Wohlmeyer. They are almost always together and are very close to each other. This little town also has two priests, Father Adolf and Father Peter. Father Adolf is not very respected by the children. On the other hand, they really trust Father Peter; as Theodor says, “It was Father Peter, the other priest, that we all loved best and were sorriest for” (Twain 2). Father Peter is a very important figure for Theodor and his friends. They believe in him and feel extreme sorrow when he is accused by his enemy, the astrologer, along with the bishop for saying that the astrologer was a charlatan. Since this incident, Father Peter has been suspended, but father Peter is not alone. He has a niece named Marget, the one who loves and supports him unconditionally. One day while the children are playing around, they meet a person that tells them he is an angel named Satan. Satan does not believe in the human race, and throughout the 1
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PEREZ whole story he tries to convince the children why the human race is not important. The point-of- view character is Theodor, whose central internal conflict involves choosing either appearance or reality; Satan chooses appearance; Father Peter chooses reality. One side of Theodor’s conflict is appearance. Theodor is mainly a good boy, but many times he does what others believe to be correct. When Theodor meets Satan he gets impressed by the image that Satan has: “He had new and good clothes on, and was handsome and had a winning face and a pleasant voice, and was easy and graceful and unembarrassed, not slouchy and awkward and diffident, like other boys”(Twain 4). His appearance is not the normal appearance of the villagers of that town; this is why Theodor is impressed by him. Once Theodor starts his adventures with Satan and discovers that Satan is an angel, he notices how much he enjoys Satan’s company. Theodor and his friends go with Satan to different places where he shows them that there is nothing good at all in humans. They feel frustrated because Satan does not believe in humans, but as soon as Satan talks with his cheerful voice, he convinces them.
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This note was uploaded on 06/11/2008 for the course ENGL 102 taught by Professor Bivona during the Summer '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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the_mysterious_stranger - PEREZ 1 Lizette Perez ENG 102 (8)...

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