Mark Twain’s “Edward Mills and George Benton: A Tale”

“Be pure, honest, sober, industrious, and considerate of others, and success in life is assured.”

Mark Twain’s “Edward Mills and George Benton: A Tale” ploughs through terrain we’ve experienced before specifically in “The Story of the Bad Little Boy” and “The Story of the Good Little Boy”.


This story includes the same theme of turning the results of moral choices on its head much the same way the above stories do; however, this one contrasts two orphaned cousins adopted by the same parents. One falls under the good little boy category and one under the bad little boy.

Given the contrast between the two boys, I would say “Edward Mills and George Benton: A Tale” is the better of the three stories. Is it funnier? Perhaps. But it’s not difficult to guess from early on that the advice given by the parents to the boys that I quoted above doesn’t turn out quite the way the parents think it will.