|Abstract||An outpouring of scholarly publication has been devoted to the literary work of Mark Twain, but the bulk of his short stories has been relatively neglected. If a full evaluation of Twain is ever to be attained, all of his work must be considered. It is generally conceded that Twain was a great satirist and an accomplished literary artist. Some of his finest technical artistry in the creation of excellent satire is found in his short stories, and it deserves to be made known to a wider audience. Attention in this study is focused on thirty-four selected stories in which Twain's satiric powers are shown to good advantage. The tales reveal that Twain was probably born with a sardonic vision, but he realized as a mature author that in order to write effective satire he must overcome his emotionalism, his strong impulse to mutilate his satiric target. In his short stories Mark Twain discovered a method of restraining himself by a deliberate and careful choice of narrative point of view. He was able to gain the detachment, the aesthetic distance that the creation of successful satire requires, by the use of three basic narrative perspectives: first-person narrators, first-person frame-story narrators, and third-person narrators. Each of these three different viewpoints frequently relates to a different degree of satire and is, therefore, a conscious literary device. Twain often produced hyperbolic, tall-tale stories, full of slapstick satire, by utilizing a first-person storyteller. Satire of a more serious nature, stinging satire, is frequently manifest in stories which have a first-person frame-story narrator. The most serious and bitter satire-that of a sardonic nature--is displayed most often in tales which are told from the third-person perspective. The first-person point of view must have been the most comfortable for him to use as a young writer because he used it so frequently during the initial years of his writing career in the 60's and 70's; it provided him discipline and detachment. Most of his framed tales were written in the 70's and 80's and appear to be. an outgrowth of the earlier straight first-person narrative perspective, a further sophistication in the development of Twain's style of satire. Only in the last quarter of his career did Twain allow himself a more frequent use of the third-person omniscient perspective, which is the most flexible viewpoint but also the most subject to abuse or misuse. This seems to be the result of a logical progression, something that Twain naturally grew into as he gained experience and confidence. But perspectives were also dictated at times by the objects satirized. In literary work the methods and the purposes are often inextricably interwoven with each other. The careful choice of narrative perspective was for Twain only a means to an end--and that end was satire.