How does Twain change his writing style when we visit the smallpox house? Why do you think he does this?
Ask students what sort of tone they think Twain strikes when writing about the family inflicted with smallpox: it's clear that this is meant to be a serious and affecting passage, as evidenced by the melodrama the author incorporates throughout the chapter. After approaching the majority of his novel with a detached humor, Twain focuses in on the tragedy of this one family, piling one on top of the other to the point that the story's plausibility is almost called into question.
Why does Twain spend so much time trying to get the reader to feel for this family? One...
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