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(Code and Color Key

Mark Twain's "Corn-pone Opinions"
Analysis for A Study in Semicolons
[See the discussion in the notes.]


1
But it did not happen; [1]  | {in the distribution} {of rewards} he was overlooked (P). | 
#1 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification _x____     Other _____
The second clause explains what did not happen.
2 - 3
He interrupted his preaching (DO), now and then, to saw [Inf., Adverb to "interrupted"] a stick [DO of "to saw"] {of wood}; | [2] but the sawing was a pretense (PN)  | -- he did it (DO) {with his mouth}; [3] exactly imitating [Gerundive to "he"] the sound [DO of "imitating"] [Adj. to "sound" the bucksaw makes {in shrieking [Gerund, OP] its way [DO of "Shrieking"] }{through the wood}. | 
#2 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The second clause explains the "sawing" in the first. 
#3 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  _____ Other__x___
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification _____     Other __x___
?
4
But it served its purpose (DO); | [4] it kept his master (DO) {from coming out [Gerund, OP]} to see [Inf., Adv. to "coming out"] [DO of "to see" how the work was getting along]. | 
#4 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The second clause explains the "purpose."
5
[Adv. to "must train" If he would prosper], he must train {with the majority}; | [5] {in matters} {of large moment}, {like politics and religion}, he must think and feel {with the bulk} {of his neighbors}, or suffer damage (DO) {in his social standing} and {in his business prosperities}| 
#5 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification _x____     Other _____
The second clause gives further details on "must train."
6 - 7
He must get his opinions (DO) {from other people}; | [6] he must reason out none (DO) {for himself}; | [7] he must have no first-hand views (DO). | 
#6 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification ___x__     Other _____
The second clause restates the idea of the first. 
#7 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The third clause restates the idea of the first and second.
8 - 9
It was his idea (PN) [Delayed Subject that there is such a thing (PN) {as a first-hand opinion}; [8] an original opinion [Appositive]; [9] an opinion [Appositive] [Adj. to "opinion" which is coldly reasoned out {in a man's head}, {by a searching analysis} {of the facts} involved [Gerundive to "facts"], {with the heart *being* unconsulted}, and {*with* the jury room *being* closed} {against outside influences}.]] |
"The phrases "heart *being* unconsulted" and "room *being* closed" are noun absolutes that function as objects of the preposition.
 
#8 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  _____ Other___x__
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
 
#9 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  _____ Other___x__
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The two semicolons set off appositives.
10 - 11
Six months [NuA] later everybody is reconciled (P) | [10] the fashion has established itself (DO); | [11] it is admired (P), now, | and no one laughs. | 
#10 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The second clause elaborates on the nature of the reconciliation. 
#11 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The third clause elaborates on the meaning of "established."
12
It is our nature (PN) to conform [Inf., Delayed Subject]; | [12] it is a force (PN) [Adj. to "force" which (DO of "can resist") not many can successfully resist]. | 
#12 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The second clause amplifies "to conform."
13
We all have to bow {to that}; | [13] there are no exceptions (PN). | 
#13 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The second clause reinforces "all."
14-15
Even the woman [Adj. to "woman" who refuses {from first} {to last} to wear [Inf., DO of "refuses"] the hoop skirt [DO of "to wear"] ] comes {under that law} and is its slave (PN); | [14] she could not wear the skirt (DO) and have her own approval (DO); | [15] and that (DO) she must have, | she cannot help herself (DO). | 
#14 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The second clause elaborates on, by explaining the reason for, "comes under." 
#15 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The third clause elaborates on "approval." [Note the comma-splice after "have."] 
16-18
One woman abandons the fashion (DO); | [16] her neighbor notices this (DO) and follows her lead (DO); | [17] this influences the next woman (DO); | [18] and so on and so on, | and presently the skirt has vanished {out of the world}, | no one knows how (DO) nor why (DO), nor cares, {for that matter}. |
The "and so on and so on" can be considered a fragment, or it can be explained as two ellipsed clauses -- "and so *it goes* on and so *it goes* on."
 
#16 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast ___x__     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The second clause is built on the contrast between the woman and her neighbor, but "follows" implies an amplification, the beginning of  a trend. 
#17 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast ___x__     Amplification __x___     Other _____
There is both amplification and contrast in the second semicolon. The contrast is embodied in the "next" woman, and the amplification is implicit in the setting of a trend. 
#18 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The third semicolon again suggests amplification, not only in "and so on and so on," but also in the result of the initial "One woman abandons...."
19
Twenty-five years [NuA] ago, {in England}, six or eight wine glasses stood grouped [Gerundive to "glasses"] {by each person's plate} {at a dinner party}, | and they were used, not left [Gerundive to 'they"] idle and empty; | [19] to-day there are but three (PN) or four (PN) {in the group}, | and the average guest sparingly uses about two (DO) {of them}. |
I would also accept "stood grouped" as the finite verb. [See "palimpsest patterns."] The adjectives "idle" and "empty" can be explained as retained predicate adjectives derived from the active version "Someone left the glasses *to be* idle and empty."
 
#19 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast ___x__     Amplification _____     Other _____
The semicolon emphasizes the contrast between then and now.
20
We shall not think it (DO) out; | [20] we shall merely conform, and let it [Subject of "go"] go [Inf., DO of "let"] {at that}. | 
#20 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast ___x__     Amplification _____     Other _____
The contrast is between what we will not and will do (although some people might well argue that the "not" in the first clause makes the second clause an amplification).
21
We get our notions (DO) and habits (DO) and opinions (DO) {from outside influences}; | [21] we do not have to study them (DO) out. | 
#21 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
The contrast is between what we do and what "we do not."
22
Our table manners, and company manners, and street manners change {from time} {to time}, | but the changes are not reasoned out; | [22] we merely notice and conform. | 
#22 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast ___x__     Amplification _____     Other _____
The contrast is between what we do and what we do not.
23
We are creatures (PN) {of outside influences}; | [23] {as a rule} we do not think, | we only imitate. | 
#23 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The second and third clauses explain why and how we are creatures of outside influences. Note (1) the comma (splice) between the last two clauses, and (2) the contrasting ideas embodied in them.
24
We cannot invent standards (DO) [Adj. to "standards" that will stick]; | [24] [Subject of "are" what (DO of "mistake") we mistake {for standards}] are only fashions (PN), and perishable (PA). | 
#24 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
The contrast is between what are and are not "standards."
25
Shakespeare is a standard (PN), | and fifty years [NuA] ago we used to write tragedies (DO) [Adj. to "tragedies" which (DO of "couldn't tell") we couldn't tell {from -- from somebody else's}]; | [25] but we don't do it (DO) any more, now. | 
#25 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast ___x__     Amplification _____     Other _____
The contrast is between then and now.
26
Our prose standard, three quarters [NuA] {of a century} ago, was ornate (PA) and diffuse (PA); | [26] some authority or other *authority* changed it (DO) {in the direction} {of compactness and simplicity}, | and conformity followed, {without argument}. | 
#26 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
The contrast is between then and now, or stability and change. Note that Twain uses "and" throughout a series, and not just between the last two items. (See #21, above.) As a result, some readers may initially misread "and conformity" as part of the preceding prepositional phrase. That will leave them without a subject for "followed."
27
We had historical novels (DO) before; | [27] but nobody read them (DO), | and the rest {of us} conformed -- {without reasoning [Gerund, OP] it [DO of "reasoning"] out}. | 
#27 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
I sense a contrast between having and using.
28
The Smiths like the new play (DO); | [28] the Joneses go to see [Inf., Adv. to "go"] it [DO of "to see"], | and they copy the Smith verdict (DO). | 
#28 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast ___x__     Amplification _____     Other _____
The sentence is built on the implicit contrast between neighbours.
29
Morals, religions, politics, get their following (DO) {from surrounding influences and atmospheres}, almost entirely; [29] not {from study}, not {from thinking [Gerund OP] }. | 
#29 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other__x___
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
This is the kind of sentence that one does not find discussed in most grammar textbooks. I am counting it as both joining main clauses and "other" primarily because, as I see it, two ellipsed main clauses follow the semicolon: "... almost entirely; | [29] *they do* not *get it (DO)* {from study}, | *they do* not *get it (DO)* {from thinking}. |
     The contrast is between an affirmation and negations.
30-36
Mohammedans are Mohammedans (PN) [Adv. to "are" because they are born (P) and reared (P) {among that sect},] not [Adv. to "are" because they have thought it (DO) out and can furnish sound reasons (DO) {for being [Gerund, OP] Mohammedans [PN to "being"]}; | [30] we know [DO of "know" why Catholics are Catholics (PN)]; [31] [DO of "know" why Presbyterians are Presbyterians (PN)]; [32] [DO of "know" why Baptists are Baptists (PN)]; [33] [DO of "know" why Mormons are Mormons (PN)]; [34] [DO of "know" why thieves are thieves (PN)]; [35] [DO of "know" why monarchists are monarchists (PN)]; [36] [DO of "know" why Republicans are Republicans (PN)] and [DO of "know" *why*Democrats *are* Democrats (PN)]. | 
#30 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
 
#31 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  __x___ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
 
#32 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  __x___ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
 
#33 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  __x___ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
 
#34 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  ___x__ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
 
#35 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  ___x__ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
 
#36 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  __x___ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
The semicolons emphasize that the groups are widely different even though, in the characteristic being discussed, they are the same.
37
We know [DO of "know" it is a matter (PN) {of association and sympathy}, not {*of* reasoning [Gerund] and examination}]; [37] [DO of "know"that hardly a man {in the world} has an opinion (DO) {upon morals, politics, or religion} [Adj. to "opinion" which (DO of "got") he got otherwise {than through his associations and sympathies}.]] |
Alternatively, "reasoning" and "examination" could be explained as negated appositives to "matter." (It is not reasoning and examination.)
 
#37 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  _x____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The "that" after the semicolon has no function other than that of a subordinate conjunction, making the "that" clause another direct object of "We know." From the perspective of meaning, the "that" clause is a restatement and amplification of the "it is" clause. One might even consider the second subordinate clause as an appositive to the first.
38
I think [DO of "think" that {in the majority} {of cases} it is unconscious (PA) and not calculated (PA) ]; [38] [DO of "think"that it is born {of the human being's natural yearning} to stand [Inf., Adj. to "yearning"] well {with his fellows} and have [Inf., Adj. to "yearning"] their inspiring approval [DO of "have"] and praise [DO of "have"] -- a yearning [Appositive to "yearning"] [Adj. to "yearning" which is commonly so strong (PA) and so insistent (PA) [Adv. to "so" that it cannot be effectually resisted (P), and must have its way (DO).]]] | 
#38 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  __x___ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
This is the same situation as in #37.
39-41
A political emergency brings out the corn-pone opinion (DO) {in fine force} {in its two chief varieties} -- the pocketbook variety [Appositive to "varieties"], [Adj. to "variety" which has its origin (DO) {in self-interest}], and the bigger variety [Appositive to "varieties"], the sentimental variety  [Appositive to "variety"]-- the one  [Appositive to "variety"] [Adj. to "one" which can't bear to be [Inf., DO of "can't bear"] {outside the pale}; [39] can't bear to be [Inf., DO of "can't bear"] {in disfavor}; [40]can't endure the averted face (DO) and the cold shoulder (DO); [41] wants to stand [Inf., DO of "wants"] well {with his friends}, wants to be smiled upon [Inf., DO of "wants"], wants to be  [Inf., DO of "wants"] welcome (PA), wants to hear [Inf., DO of "wants"] the precious words [DO of "to hear"], [Appositive to "words" "He's {on the right track}!"]] | 
#39 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  _____ Other__x___
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification _____     Other __x___
 
#40 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  _____ Other__x___
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification _____     Other __x___
 
#41 Joins: MC _____     Sub Clauses  _____ Other__x___
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification _____     Other __x___
These three semicolons separate finite verb phrases.
42-44
Men think [DO of "think" they think {upon great political questions}], | and they do; | [42] but they think {with their party}, not independently; | [43] they read its literature (DO), but not that (DO) {of the other side}; | [44] they arrive {at convictions}, | but they are drawn (P) {from a partial view} {of the matter} {in hand} and are {of no particular value}. | 
#42 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast __x___     Amplification _____     Other _____
The first semicolon contrasts ways of thinking. 
#43 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
The clauses after the second and third semicolons (43 & 44) amplify the clause after the first (42), by explaining ways in which men think with their party and not independently. 
#44 Joins: MC __x___     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast _____     Amplification __x___     Other _____
See above.
45
They swarm {with their party}, | they feel {with their party}, | they are happy (PA) {in their party's approval}; | [45] and [Adv. to "will follow" where the party leads] they will follow, [Adv. to "will follow" whether *they do so (DO)* {for right and honor}, or {through blood and dirt and a mush} {of mutilated morals}.] | 
#45 Joins: MC ___x__     Sub Clauses  _____ Other_____
Ideas: Contrast ___x__     Amplification _____     Other _____
I may be stretching for the contrast here, but I sense a swarming in one place (the party) in the three main clauses that precede the semicolon, and motion in the main clause that follows it. Before the semicolon, readers perceive "swarm with ... feel with ... are happy in ...." After the semicolon, the swarm begins to move -- "... party leads they will follow ... for ... through ..."