Once there was a bad little boy whose name was Jim – though, if you will notice, you will find that bad little boys are nearly always called James in your Sunday-school books. It was strange, but still it was true, that this one was called Jim.
I consider Mark Twain’s “The Story of the Bad Little Boy” short at three and a half pages but it doesn’t really strike me as a story. It’s more like an imaginitive essay.
(photo obtained from goodreads.com)
It is satire. Twain satirizes the fact that the Sunday-school books of his day always had bad little boys drown, get struck by lightening or get some other well-deserved punishment. Of course, Twain points out that in real life bad little boys grow up to be successful businessmen or congressmen.
The story really doesn’t have a plot but is more a list of all the things the protagonist Jim does and how the consequences don’t play out like the Sunday-school books say they should.
And it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who is a Mark Twain reader that “The Story of the Bad Little Boy” is funny, too.