Complete the worksheet after reading this short biography:
THIS IS THE ANCESTOR TO BE CHOOSEN:
Early in the fifteenth century we have Beau Twain, called “the Scholar.” He wrote a beautiful, beautiful hand. And he could imitate anybody’s hand so closely that it was enough to make a person laugh his head off to see it. He had infinite sport with his talent. But by and by he took a contract to break stone for a road, and the roughness of the work spoiled his hand. Still, he enjoyed life all the time he was in the stone business, which, with inconsiderable intervals, was some forty-two years. In fact, he died in harness. During all those long years he gave such satisfaction that he never was through with one contract a week till government gave him another. He was a perfect pet. And he was always a favorite with his fellow-artists, and was a conspicuous member of their benevolent secret society, called the Chain Gang. He always wore his hair short, had a preference for striped clothes, and died lamented by the government. He was a sore loss to his country. For he was so regular.
Which of Twain’s ancestors did you select?
I choose the scholar.
What is the ACTUAL story of that man’s life? Provide supporting evidence from the text.
What techniques does Twain use to create satire in the description you selected? Provide supporting evidence from the text.
Part B: Create Your Own Satire
For this part of the assignment, you will appropriate Twain’s technique and write a burlesque of an event in your life or in the life of a celebrity. Remember, a burlesque plays on contradiction between a subject and the way it is treated. Twain used humor to describe serious, sometimes awful, events, but you can turn it around and present something fun or happy in a very serious way – the choice is yours.
Incorporate at least two humor devices
Write a minimum of five sentences
Paste your completed burlesque here:
After you have written your burlesque, answer these reflection questions in complete sentences:
Factually describe the event you wrote about in your burlesque.
What humor devices did you incorporate? Why did you choose them?
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