Longstreet’s “Georgia Theatrics” and Thorpe’s “Big Bear of Arkansas”


Thorpe’s tall tale about the Big Bear of Arkansas is written from an outside perspective but only in an effort to bring the listener into the tall tale that Jim Dogget, the Big Bear, relays to the audience. As a result, the story is almost entirely dialogue. Longstreet’s “Georgia Theatrics,” on the other hand, makes the narrator a more natural part of the story and as a result uses minimal dialogue. Longstreet unfolds the story before the audience’s eyes, from the perspective of the speaker. Therefore, the audience is never really introduced to the narrator and instead discovers him through the details that Longstreet sprinkles into the story (e.g. “he dismounts” means that the narrator was at some point on a horse. This information was never provided directly).