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The $30,000 Bequest, and Other Stories by Mark Twain

The $30,000


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“The $30,000 Bequest, and Other Stories”

is a collection of short stories by Mark Twain, one of America’s most famous and beloved writers. The book contains eleven stories, each with its unique plot, characters, and themes. Here is a summary of the content of the book:

  1. “The $30,000 Bequest” – The title story follows the lives of a husband and wife who inherit $30,000 and struggle to decide how to use the money. The story is a humorous satire on human nature and the desire for wealth.

  2. “A Dog’s Tale” – In this touching story, a dog tells the story of her life, including her devotion to her owners and her eventual mistreatment at the hands of humans. The story is a commentary on the treatment of animals and the relationship between humans and animals.

  3. “Was it Heaven? Or Hell?” – This story follows a young girl’s experience with the death of her brother and her attempts to come to terms with his passing. The story explores the themes of loss, grief, and the afterlife.

  4. “A Cure for the Blues” – In this comedic story, a man tries to cure his depression by attending a lecture on the benefits of smiling. The story is a satire on self-help and the pursuit of happiness.

  5. “The Enemy Conquered; or, Love Triumphant” – This romantic story follows the lives of a couple who overcome obstacles to be together. The story explores the themes of love, perseverance, and the power of the human spirit.

  6. “The Californian’s Tale” – In this tale, a man tells the story of his time in California during the gold rush. The story explores the themes of greed, ambition, and the pursuit of wealth.

  7. “A Helpless Situation” – This story follows a man who gets stuck in a tree and has to rely on the help of a passing stranger to get down. The story explores the themes of trust, cooperation, and the kindness of strangers.

  8. “A Telephonic Conversation” – This humorous story follows a man’s attempts to have a conversation over a new invention called the telephone. The story is a commentary on the difficulties of communication and the effects of technology on society.

  9. “Edward Mills and George Benton: A Tale” – In this tale, two young boys set out to find a missing treasure and encounter a series of obstacles along the way. The story explores the themes of friendship, adventure, and the pursuit of success.

  10. “The Five Boons of Life” – In this allegorical story, a man is granted five wishes and must decide how to use them. The story explores the themes of happiness, contentment, and the pursuit of fulfillment.

  11. “The First Writing-machines” – In this satirical story, Twain imagines a world where writing machines have taken over and humans have become obsolete. The story is a commentary on the effects of technology on society and the importance of human connection.

In summary, “The $30,000 Bequest, and Other Stories” is a collection of diverse and entertaining tales, each with its unique themes and messages. The stories are a reflection of Twain’s wit, humor, and ability to explore human nature in a relatable and engaging way.


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