Mark Twain Essays
Greatest Writer Of All Time
Who is the greatest writer of all time? It’s a broad question, however still to a lot of people, the answer is Samuel Clemens. If you’re not sure who that is, that’s understandable. Maybe the name Mark Twain will ring a bell for you. A writer who through up and downs achieved tremendous writing success. Mark Twain, has contributed a lot to American society through his childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and literary influence.
On November 30, 1885 in Florida Missouri, a boy named Samuel Clemens was born. He was the sixth born of John and Jane Clemens. John Clemens was often described as a very unsmiling man and that he was never actually seen smiling. That vibe could also have been described for Hannibal, the town in which a young Mark Twain lived in.
Growing up in Hannibal, murder was a consistent seeing in the town. A young Mark Twain Clemens even once witnessed a local man murder a cattle rancher and also witnessed a slave owner brutally murder one of their slaves. Other than the murder, Hannibal overall was considered a decent place to live, with steamboats coming frequently, circuses, and good libraries as well. When Twain was only 12 years old, his father passed away, leaving him to have to drop in order to get a job to help provide for his family. Twain then got a job as an apprentice printer which he made small rations of food before becoming an editor and occasional writer at the age of 15 at the Hannibal Western Union which was owned by his brother Orion.
In 1857 at the age of 21, Twain starting to learn the art of piloting a steamboat on the Mississippi river and became a licensed pilot by 1859. Soon the became a regular job for him as he would pilot boats down the river. Although he loved his job and it paid well he didn’t work there for long as the Civil War stopped a lot of river traffic.
Twain actually joined the Confederate Army but it was only for about two weeks before the unit that he was apart of fell apart. After the war and not going back to his previous job, he wondered where he would work next and be able to enjoy his job and bring it good money. He then decided that he would move west. In July of 1861 he headed to Nevada and California where his main goal was panning for silver and gold where he thought he would be able to become rich. That was the national trend at that time and lots of people were able to end up getting rich that way.
However it did not pan out that way Twain and by mid 1862 he was completely broke and in need of a job. That November he ended up getting a job for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise where did editorials, sketches and different news stories. While he was working there that is when he finally picked up the pen name Mark Twain which actually steamboat slang for 12 feet of water. While working for Virginia City, quicker than most he became a very well-known storyteller in the western side of the country. He had a unique style of writing for his time that drew a lot of readers to his bodies of work. In 1867 Twain took a cruise across the Mediterranean and wrote about humors that he saw and encountered on his cruise for his newspaper. However he really had a goal of making a book out of the trip. The book that came from the trip was The Innocents Abroad and it became a best-seller immedietly. Soon after Twain married 24 year old Olvia Langdon and settled in Buffalo. He felt like most of the country was ran through a variety of different aspects in the east coast, so that is the reason him and his wife settle in the east. Twain and Langdon also had 4 kids.
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer published in 1876. Not long after he began writing was the sequel to that which was Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It was said that writing these stories freed him of the culture in which he lived in and embraced. Although it took years for Twain to write them, those two especially along with many more stories from Twain have become incredible influences on American Literature, and will be forever.
Mark Twain, has contributed a lot to American society through his childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and literary influence. Twain to me changed writing forever, based on his background, where he came from, and his styles of writing. Learning about Twain has taught me to keep working towards what you want no matter what your circumstances are. He went from living a great life, to broke, to living an even greater life than before. Twain no matter what his circumstances were gave it his all. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
Interesting And Depressing
Do you know Mark Twain? Well i’ve been getting to know him alot. Here is one of his quotes Kindness is the language that the blind can see and deaf can hear. I think it means that be kind to everyone.
Now i’m going to discuss his childhood,career,and death. Let’s go!
Mark had a normal childhood he moved when he was like 4 i wrote it down but yea he moved near Hannibal. He started thinking of writing books around that time. He grew up in hannibal up until 17 but more stuff happened before then. His dad died when he was 11 or 12 one or the other.He was a judge,shopkeep,and a lawyer very noble man but that was only a little while. That’s his childhood in a nutshell it’s not copied i just like that word.
His career was interesting and depressing like he has a depressing end im serious. Ok so at the start he had a very successful company but at the end it went bankrupt which is some of the depressing part but wait till the end. Next after it went bankrupt he had no money and he started to lose money but he made it threw and got married to olivia langdon clemens and had 4 children named susy,clara,jean,and langdon.
But i’m not done yet i’m just getting started with his career net was when he started writing books he wrote alot made lots of money but still he had a normal life till all but one of his children died his wife died to so there was depressing part. Next i’m going into his book writing he had a good career made lots of money but he got by.
Mark Twain impacted the world by helping authors get to write more and leave very educational quotes but that’s here nor there. He helped people be nice a hole lot more. Like his quote was awesomekindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.That’s really inspirational don’t you think.
He was an amazing writer. Mark twain had a peaceful death he died im london bye a heart attack. But he was still a good person minus that part where he was accused of being racist. Yeah he was really awesome and cool i bet he was funny to. R.I.P Mark Twain.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Samuel Langhorne Clemens or otherwise known as Mark Twain, has remained central to American literature and in American life for over a century. A humorist, journalist, lecturer, and novelist whose deceptive and relaxed writing style has impacted many generations of American writers who have followed his footsteps. Despite his death on April 21, 1910, he continues to be celebrated now more than ever before, and his works have been translated into 72 languages.
A master at captivating his readers and creating scenarios, Mark Twain’s use of the common vernacular set him apart from authors of his era giving his readers a sense of familiarity and emotional connection to his characters and himself.
Born November 30, 1835 in a small village in Florida, Missouri, Mark Twain was the sixth child of John and Jane Clemens. His father, John Clemens, was a very stern and serious man who rarely demonstrated any affection. “His temperament was affected by his worries over his financial situation, made all the more distressing by a series of business failures” (history.com).
Those business failures along with the family’s diminishing fortunes were serious enough that John Clemens took the family and moved them to the port town of Hannibal where they were hoping for greater opportunities. John had purchased a land in Tennessee hoping one day he would see his fortunes change and earn some money from it since his debt continued to accumulate but things weren’t looking very bright. John had instilled in his children the hope one day that land will make them wealthy and although it never reached that plateau, Mark Twain still reflected on this promise that became a disappointment later on in his life.
“It put our energies to sleep and made visionaries of us-dreamers and indolent…It is good to begin life poor; it is good to begin life rich- there are wholesome; but to begin it prospectively rich! The man who has not experienced it cannot imagine the curse of it” (history.com). John Clemens passed away not long after their move to the new city when Mark was just eleven years old. Left with no choice but to quit school, Mark began working in order to help the family earn money.
The family’s move to Hannibal provided Mark with a wealth of inspiration that were often passed on his writings. “He (Mark Twain) immortalized Hannibal as St. Petersburg in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The geographical features are real. The Mississippi River and its islands, Cardiff Hill, the great cave South of town, are all features visitors can explore today” (biography.com). In addition to the geographical features, the characters in many of his writings especially in Tom Sawyer came from actual friends and family. “He used his mother, Jane Clemens, as Aunt Polly.
His sister, Pamela, and bother, Henry, became Cousin Mary and Cousin Sid. The real girl, Laura Hawkins, who lived across the street from the Clemens family inspired Becky Thatcher. And Tom Blankenship from a poor family spawned Huckleberry Finn. Sam’s childhood is spent playing in the hills, on the river, and in the cave spread across the pages of Tom Sawyer” (biography.com). That was not the only time the city and/or his home experience appear in his works. Several other works such as The Innocents Abroad, Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi, and Pudd’nhead Wilson.
As previously mentioned, a lot of the experiences he has had in life have been passed on to his stories. One of those is his brief stint in the Civil War. Although he left the war after just two weeks of service, he still wrote about it. The state of Missouri was split between those who supported the Union and those who supported Confederacy. Mark Twain joined the Confederate Army as a volunteer until that unit parted ways. Some men joined other units but Mark Twain along with a few other decided to scatter. Prior to the Civil War, a restless and a very ambitious Mark Twain, while booking passage in 1857 on a steamboat bound for New Orleans and then to South America where he hoped to find his fortune, caught up to the captain of the riverboat and persuaded him to take Twain as an apprentice.
Mark Twain knew obtaining a pilot’s license is the ultimate goal, the path to getting it would not be easy. Under the supervision of the captain, Twain learned everything there is to know about the Mississippi River and about the operation of a riverboat. Two years later and after learning the profession thoroughly, Twain eventually acquired his license. That didn’t last long due to the Civil War and “fearing that he might be impressed as a Union gunboat pilot”, Twain decided the best thing to do is to bring his years on the river to a halt. His time on the river also made it in a satirical sketch of his, River Intelligence (1859).
Most Famous Writers
Samuel Clemons, also known as Mark Twain is regarded as one of the most famous writers of not only his time but present day as well. Twain was easy a writer that was easy to understand, being that he was one of the first people to write in an everyday easy to understand language verse a European type dialect. Twain paved the way for all other American writing, for any writer that came after him, owe Twain credit for examples that were given to them.
Twain was able to write fiction that related to the American people and the American experience. He spoke of rural life and the introduction of the industrial revolution. He described his characters and his settings so vividly it made them feel lifelike, making it that more relatable to the readers. Not only are Twain’s novels based on the rural lifestyle, many are based on the industrial age, mentioning the invention of the steamboat in several of his stories.
Not only was he great writer about the two themes, he was able to combine the two. Growing up in rural American while America was quickly changing around them due to the industrial revolution. Samuel Clemons. Some of Twain’s most famous works that helped pave the way for American Literature are his first short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, followed by The Innocents Abroad, Roughing it, The Glided Age, The War Prayer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Prince and the Pauper, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County was the first short story that Twain wrote about making him famous. While he was at a bar in Calaveras County, California, he overheard a story from a fellow patron about a jumping frog contest which inspired him to write it. It originally was called Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog but right before being published in the New York Saturday Press, he changed the name to what it is currently known. The story was about a man that came from a western mining town looking for an individual. When asking a stranger about the individual, the stranger told a story about a gentleman that bragged about how high his pet frog could jump. He bet that his frog could out jump any frog.
After placing a $40 bet, his competitor filled his frog full of quail shot while he was distracting. Because of this, the man from the East lost his bet while the stranger was able to leave town prior the man finding out.
The Innocents Abroad, was a compilation of travel letters and short stories that Twain wrote in 1967 while aboard the USS Quaker City. Twain was sent on this excursion to capture the day to day experiences of wealthy Americans in old exotic countries. The book had negative reviews at first, being that Twain already confirmed what most Americans had already known, that Europe was greedy and just wanted the wealthy American’s money and that Europe was run down. On the flip side, he also confirmed what Europeans already knew about America, that Americans made fools of themselves while drinking and that they could get quite vulgar. The main theme of this story is how particular incidents and history are used by people for their own gain.
Roughing It is a story about experiences and things endured while traveling west. He uses his brother’s journal, his experiences, and his imagination in order to write this. It is based from 1861-1866 and was published in 1972. The book is made to be humorous and looks at the tribulations and trials that are encountered by his brother and him. Throughout the story he talks about funerals, merchants, fire, shootings, mining, prospecting, fights, outlaws, trains, the Pony Express, Mormons, desert and mountains.
The Glided Age was not just written by Twain. Charles Dudley Warner was the co-author of this story, and was Twain’s only collaborator throughout all of his novels. Published in 1873, the book focuses on the years following the civil war and talked about the greed due to the fact the economy was growing at a very fast rate.
Big changes were taking place in America during this time and few were able to celebrate the wealth that came with it, while most others continued struggling and trying to survive by farming or being industrial workers. Hours were long and wages were low resulting in dangerous work environments. Because of this, workers came together creating strikes. All of these examples sum up to what Twain was referring to as The Glided Age.
The War Prayer is about a country going to war and was written in 1905. The beginning of the story makes the reader believe that the story is patriotic and is a country that is supporting their men going to war to fight for their beliefs. The citizens attend service at a church and say a prayer, calling for God to protect the men and show them victory.
A stranger soon walks in and says the other half of the prayer. The suffering, pain, destruction against their foes. Things Christians don’t condone. It goes to show the hypocrisy when it comes to Christians praying for what they want, by wishing death to others. It is referred to as blind patriotism. Twain never published this work, fearing that society wouldn’t take very well to his story. He said to Daniel Beard, “No, I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead.” He did exactly that, having it published after his death.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court was published in 1889 and tells a story about an engineer that is a Yankee from Connecticut. The engineer was transported to the sixth century to King Arthurs court. While in the court he uses his knowledge of modern technology to fool the people of that era. His writing makes fun of chivalry and the idealism of other authors work about the Middle Ages. This novel is one of the first of it’s time, having to do with time travel and taking on a sub genre of science fiction.
The Prince and the Pauper is based in 1547, published in 1881, about two boys that are very similar in appearance but come from two different walks of life. One, who is abused by his father in London and one who is the son of one of the many King Henry’s of England. The two boys swapped places proving to King Henry’s son that things can always be much worse and someone, somewhere, always has bigger problems than you. The saying, “the grass is not always greener on the other side,” is very fitting for this novel. It’s a children’s novel and shows social inequality and the criticism of people just base off of their appearance.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published in 1876 and is one of Twain’s most famous novels, up until The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, that is. The story is based in the 1840s and is about a young boy that grows up along the Mississippi River. Many of the places in this novel are real and some are fake, inspired by some of Twain’s boyhood experiences. Tom Sawyer was very relatable to most Americans, being that he was your typical boy full of mischief growing up in a rural area, running away from home, on the chase after a murderer, all while searching for treasure. Tom and Huck end up tracking down the murderer, Tom gets the girl he is after and ultimately live happily ever after.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was followed up by possibly one of Twain’s most popular Novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This novel was published in 1884 and is told in first person about a boy names Huck.
His father was a drunk and he had no mother. His best friend is Tom Sawyer. It is pre civil war and is about a friendship created by a runaway slave and a homeless kid (Huck), that become friends against all of societies norms in the south. The two have something in common, they’re both running from something. One is running from a mean dad and the other against racial oppression. The novel is full of offensive language and humor. The book was banned immediately because society viewed it as “vulgar,” considering it was about racism and used the n-word throughout. Some people ask what made this novel so famous, it brings to life a lot of important issues. Issues from is it right or wrong to own people, obey laws that you know are wrong, or what is more important, individuals or society? Twain introduces many issues that haven’t been wrote about up to date. Slavery and racism being the main one, going against societal norms and seeing a person for what they are; a person.
By looking at The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, The Innocents Abroad, Roughing it, The Glided Age, The War Prayer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Prince and the Pauper, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn we are able to see why Mark Twain is notably one of the most famous writers to this day.
He inarguably has had the most significant influence on American literary history. He showed society during that time period and there on after what it was like to defy societal norms, mainly with racial issues. He brought humor to literature which was out of the norm. His quotes still live on today more than ever. His work is still in our schools today, with many of his novels still on school’s reading lists. To further the fact that Twain had a remarkable influence on American literary history, the fact that several pieces of his work have made it to the stage in the form of plays or skits. On top of having plays or skits created, several of his pieces of work have also made it to film. Without Mark Twain, American literature would not be what it is today.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens Is Better Known
- 1 Mark Twain
- 2 Sources
Samuel Langhorne Clemens is better known as Mark Twain, the distinguished novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist, and literary critic who ranks among the great figures of American literature. Written to explain who Mark Twain is (Poetry Foundation). Mark was born November 30,1835, in a tiny village of Florida, Missouri. He died April 21, 1910. Clara, Susy, Jean, and Langdon ( died of infancy) were Marks four children. Mark was the sixth child of John and Jane Clemens. When he was 4 years old they moved to a place near Hannibal, a small town of 1,000 people.
John Clemens (Marks dad) worked as a storekeeper, lawyer, judge, and speculation. He dreamed of wealth but never achieved it. According to young Mark he said he never saw him laugh. By contrast his mother was a very fun and loving, tenderhearted homemaker, spending many winter nights telling stories. She was head of the household in 1847 when her husband, John unexpectedly died.
Mark lived in Hannibal from age four to seventeen. Living in a town on the Mississippi river, a splendid place to live. Steamboats tooted, a decent library was available, and a tradesman such as blacksmiths and tanner’s worked on their craft. Though he lived in a common place of violence. At the age of nine he saw a local man murder a cattle rancher and when he was ten he saw a slave die when he was struck by s piece of iron by a white man. Hannibal inspired several of Mark Twain’s fictional locales, including “St. Petersburg” in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. This quote explains how Marks life is intertwined in his stories (Biography). The imaginary towns and rivers or vipers nests of cruelty, poverty, drunkenness, loneliness, and boredom were all parts of his boyhood.
Mark kept in school until age 12, once his father died they needed a source of income so he went to work. He worked as an apprentice printer at the Hannibal courier. This job provided him with a ration of food. By 1821, at 15, he was employed as a printer and occasional writer and editor at the Hannibal Western Union. In 1857, 21 years old he fulfilled a dream of learning the art of piloting a steamboat on the Mississippi. By 1859, he was a licensed pilot. It was a exciting career, and he loved it. Sadly by 1861, his service was cut because the Civil war broke out, halting traffic on the river. Mark joined the Confederate Army in June of 1861. He only served for a few weeks until his volunteer unit disbanded.
Mark wondered where his future would go next, his answer was the great American West. In July 1861, he headed for Nevada and California, where he would live for the next five years. At first he was on the search for silver and gold, convinced he could be the savior of his struggling family. Sadly he didn’t find any, by the middle of 1862, he was broke and needed a regular job. Mark soon tried to publish a book , made up of his letters from Hawaii. It was called The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867), sadly it did not sell well.
Later on that same year, he decided to moved to New York City, serving as the traveling correspondent for the San Francisco Alta California and for New York newspapers. He wanted to enlarge his reputation and his audience. Thankfully the announcement of a transatlantic excursion to Europe and the Holy Land provided him with that opportunity.
The Alta paid a good amount of money in the exchange for about 50 letters he would write concerning the trip. Soon his account of the voyage was published in 1869, it was called The Innocents Abroad It was a great success! From there Mark began writing more and more books! On February 2, 1870 Mark married Olivia Louise Langdon in Elmira, NY. By 1878, he published a very well known book which was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Following that in 1884 the sequel was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark wrote at least 23 books in his lifetime.
I would say Mark had a hard but successful life. He saw unpleasant things and worked hard his entire life, but it paid off. He worked for a very long time but then found success in his writing. I would say his life was adventurous. He became a very well known author, writing fantastic books. Though he seems to be quite rude. He ridiculed and made fun of everybody, indiscriminate in his criticisms. (Los Angeles Times) They wrote, adding on to the idea that he was indeed rude at times. I do understand that he liked to be funny and controversial, like the comedians in our era. Reporting things as he saw them.
Mark was a very smart man as he quoted I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. Even though Mark had the tendency to be rude at times he was still a good man. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. quoted by Mark, showing that he still likes to spread goodness.
I enjoyed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I thought it was a very interesting book. I think Mark did a really good job with detail. I will admit there were times when I was lost, but overall it was a good book. I don’t think I would have picked the book for myself, but I didn’t mind reading it. I thought the story had good humor and Mark wrote in a way that I felt very connected to the book. I would definitely recommend the book to another!
Mark Twain Bio
Mark Twain bio
Mark twain, (real name Samuel L. Clemens), was born on November 30 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He was the sixth son of John and Jane Clemens.
His father worked as a storekeeper, lawyer, judge and land speculator, and always dreamt of wealth but never succeeded, sometimes finding it hard to feed his family. His mother was a fun-loving homemaker who whiled away many a winter’s night for her family by telling stories. After John unexpectedly died in 1847, Jane became the head of the household. Twain lived in Hannibal from 4 to 17 and always thought it was splendid living down there due to the steamboats always cruising down the lake and tooting their whistles, circuses always visited and a library that twain commonly visited.
Although, violence was also very common and twain witnessed a lot of death such as a slave being murdered by his owner. Twain went to school until he was 12 due to struggling family issues like his father being dead and his family needing a source of income. He then found himself working as an apprentice printer at the Hannibal Courier which gave him a decent ration of food. In 1851, when he was 15, he got a job as a printer, writer, and editor at the Hannibal Western Union. Then in 1857, twain began to learn the art of piloting a steamboat and eventually was licensed in 1859. Twain loved his job as it was exciting and gave him a fair amount of pay age. However, his fun came to a stop in 1861 when the Civil War broke out and stopped people from using the boat thus putting out of a job. As the war processed, Missouri was split between supporters of the Union and supporters of the Confederacy.
Twain eventually joined the Confederate Army in June but only served for a couple weeks. After this, he decided to go west to fulfill his dreams and make enough money. In July 1861, he traveled to California and Nevada and lived there for about five years. During his time, he panned for silver and gold and believed that he would be the savior of his family and become the wealthiest and sharpest man in San Francisco and Virginia City. Unfortunately, nothing was found and in 1862 he went broke and needed to find a better job. In September, he became a reporter for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise.
This gave him the idea to change his name to Mark Twain which was a steamboat slang for 12 feet of water. Twain became one of the best-known storytellers in the West. He got a big break in 1865, when his tale about his life in the mining camp called Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog was published in various newspapers and magazines around the US. In 1867, he took a five month cruise in the Mediterranean and wrote about the sights for newspapers with the idea of getting a book published during the trip. Then in 1869, The Innocents Abroad was published and it became a bestseller. In February 1870, twain married 24 year old Olivia Langdon, the daughter of a wealthy New York coal merchant. His marriage to her changed him and believed that she can reform him. Twains new book called the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn took years to write and he never paid much attention to it. He then focused on another book called The Prince and the Pauper which gained a lot of popularity.
Then in 1884 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was finally published. Twain then became a book publisher by selling the memoirs of Ulysses S Grant who recently died. His publishing company eventually went bankrupt after not making the enough money he needed. Due to his financial failings, twain started to become pessimistic and starts to see things negatively like his childhood life in Missouri. In 1889, Twain published A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, a historic novel about ancient England. In 1894, his next major book was The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson which many people saw to be bitter.
Because of his popularity, he was named the best author of the 19th century and was photographed wherever he went. But in those years, there was much anguish and depression as he and Olivia lost their toddler died from diphtheria and in 1896 his daughter, Susy, died at the age of 24 of spinal meningitis. He was heartbroken and worst of all; he was out of the country when it happened. And then, his other daughter, Jean, died of a heart attack in 1909. Earlier, in 1904, Olivia died from an illness. After this, twain then started becoming insensitive to his friends and family and spent a lot of his time alone and smoking cigars. Twain then died on April 21, 1910 at 74 yrs old in Redding, Connecticut and was buried in Elmira, New York.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, includes countless examples of satire and irony. Irony is a literary technique that presents an event or idea that is completely opposite of what you’d expect. Satire is defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices.
Twain uses these writing strategies to his advantage, utilizing them to make social commentaries on the time he wrote it in, despite the book being set nearly fifty years before its release. He even begins the book with a satirical line; before the table of contents is even shown, Twain states, NOTICE: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot, (Twain, 0) Many of these satirical moments revolve around slavery, in particular, as well as some commenting on religion and the absurdity of human nature.
Twain uses irony quite a bit around slavery, particularly using the character Jim, as he is a slave. One example of this is when Jim demonstrates the innocence and humility in slavery by stating, Yes–en I’s rich now come to look at it. I owns myself, en I’s wuth eight hund’d dollars. I wisht I had de money, I wouldn’ want no mo, (Twain, 63). Through this quote, Twain shows the audience what little economic care or education is given to Jim. He doesn’t understand that eight hundred dollars is not a lot of money, or understand the concept of him being worth that little amount of money. Twain is showing the humility in being a slave, as Jim feels as though eight hundred dollars could buy him the world; or at least his freedom.
Twain’s satirical writings in Huckleberry Finn around religion mostly focus on the hypocritical side of not just religion itself, but religious people in general. He does this through use of Huck’s perspective, using his funny ways thinking and contemplating over people’s morals and actions. One example of this is when Huck lived in the Widow Douglas’ home, and his interactions with Miss Watson, the Widow’s sister. She attempts to instill religion into Huck, Then Miss Watson took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing came of it, (Twain, 14).
However, we begin to see the irony in the supposed freeing beliefs as she begins to use scare-tactics, Sometimes the widow would take me to one side and talk about Providence in a manner that would make my mouth water; but the next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again, (Twain, 15). The irony here is that while they try to impose religion as a righteous and blissful belief, they use terrifying thoughts to make Huck believe there’s no way out of believing in it. The irony in Miss Watson’s character is also seen as she accomplishes nothing through her constant prayer, as well as owns slaves, counteracting the good person she is trying to display herself as.
Overall, however, I believe that Twain uses satire and irony most to describe the absurdity of human nature and American society. Religion and slavery could arguably fit into this category in a wider spectrum, considering those are human constructed ideas that Twain constantly satirizes. He shows that people are hypocritical, they counteract themselves often. One example is when Huck says, Miss Watson she kept pecking at me, and it got tiresome and lonesome. By-and-by they fetched the n***ers in and had prayers, and then everybody was off to bed, (Twain, 3).
This brings up the idea of slavery in general. The United States was built on the idea that all men are created equal, and slavery itself completely counteracts that construct. Twain sees the stupidity in this and many other things in American culture, and him commenting on and satirizing them in what many see as an insensitive manner is what has caused this book to be banned in many places across the country.
As Mark Twain Wrote
As Mark Twain wrote, Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable accusation. But I had lost something, too. Mark Twain starts to describe his love for the Mississippi River as well as describe the dangers that lie within it, through meanings and values, using different diction and vocabulary, as well as using expository techniques.
In Mark Twain’s Two Ways of Seeing a River he starts off by telling his story in a first-person point of view. In the first paragraph Mark Twain start’s off by expressing how appealing the Mississippi River is to him, which is primarily subjective as his feelings are being exploited. As he continues into the second paragraph Mark Twain, continues to express how he was completely enchanted by the sunset, then shifts his point of view with using the word But in the third sentence to begin expressing how he sees the river now.
This shift is important to Mark Twain’s contrast because it gives his readers a better understanding on how he feels now after working on the river for years and has more experience and knowledge on the river, as to before when he only saw it for its beauty and romance but not for what the river entailed. Mark Twain’s tone begins to bring out a theme of reminiscence and wishes he could see the river in a more exciting way than just for what it was and that is a river.
Verb usage is also used and changes in the shift when describing the Mississippi River, at one point he was more alive, more excited about talking about the river, but then he switches to describing it in a very bland tone which helps transition the audience between his conflict of remembering a feeling & being a part of a moment as he describes the river. Throughout the second paragraph, Mark Twain is describing the river for how it actually is as well as how he wishes it was and that shows off both subjective and objective views he also uses his emotional connections to display to the audience the contrast between his youth and his new mature view on the river. In the last sentence Mark Twain uses doctors to develop his final idea, he uses this as metaphor to show an external view of his point.
As Mark Twain ends the second paragraph he uses colloquialism to describe the things he is seeing and what they mean to him in the Mississippi River. This technique he uses and the way he describes all of this would have been inappropriate if used in the first paragraph as he is describing the differences and harshness of the river as he sees it now. If Mark Twain would have used this sentence in the very first paragraph without giving details as he did, then the full background on the point he was trying to describe and get across would not have been accomplished. Mark Twain uses different metaphors in his second paragraph such as boils’ and break’ to describe what was going on in the water of the river and how dangerous it is for him and the men on the steamboat. The difference between them was justified as Mark Twain continues to describe the harshness of the river.
In the third paragraph Mark Twain uses a second comparison when he begins to talk about the doctor diagnosing a fever because seeing a woman’s rosy cheeks vs. seeing a beautiful woman. Mark Twain uses this comparison externally to get his readers to understand how he truly feels about the river. Mark Twain uses this as more of an analogy to help amplify his point.
The strategies Mark Twain used to organize his overall conflicting thoughts was broken down into two clear points, how he once saw the river and how he now sees the river. Mark Twain uses repetition and rhetorical questions to show the shift between maturity and youth as well as add emphasis to his point. He also uses a poetic style and uses more symbolism to explain his thoughts rather than just using plain words that don’t show enough meaning.
In conclusion, Mark Twains Two Ways of Seeing a River essay he starts to describe his love for the Mississippi River as well as describe the dangers that lie within it, through meanings and values, using different diction and vocabulary, as well as using expository techniques.
One Of My Favorite Novelists
Mark Twain has always been one of my favorite novelists. However, I was never familiar with him as a critic of religion. Frankly, I didn’t hesitate what topic to pick once I saw The Damned Human Race on the list.
It was not because I felt confident about writing about it but because I always wanted to learn more about this reading. Mark Twain uses a combination of pathos and logos in his article. I think Mark Twain’s argument is very successful besides a few misconceptions. Mark Twain compares the behavior of different animals to human beings and states that people should be classified as lower animals rather than the formerly known higher animals (1). Specifically, he compares man to different animals such as, an anaconda, squirrel, and a cat. By using those rhetorical styles Twain is able to keep his reader’s attention throughout the whole article.
In my opinion, the introduction is well-structured because it keeps the reader’s attention from the beginning to the end. It also makes the reader want to learn more throughout the whole essay. The actual reading starts with the study of character traits of animals and man. However, I think that Mark Twain is pointing out too many negative features of human being versus focusing on their positive qualities. For the rest of the essay, Twain continues to mention a negative trait that is particular to humans, and immediately compares it to an animal that has the same trait. In his conclusion, the author affirms that animals are better than humans since from all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel (Mark Twain, 3). Mark Twain moves forward through his article using pathos and logos. The first time pathos is mentioned when the author talks about hunting. Twain say, In the coarse of my reading I had come across a case where, many years ago, some hunters on our Great Plains organized a buffalo hunt.. (2). .
Mark Twain is not afraid to stereotype the whole society by saying that all people are foolish, cruel, and greedy. A good example is when he describes men that go buffalo hunting. Those men killed seventy-two buffalo leaving seventy-one and a half of them to decay. It is important to mention that despite mark Twain’s hasty stereotypes, there were some realistic points provided. Based on such points the reader can conclude that the argument in Twain’s article is fairly successful. There is also pathos in the part when Twain talks about money. He points out that man keeps accumulating money after having excessive amounts, yet animals stop gathering food when they have enough for survival.
Mark Twain concluded that man is greedy while animals are not. Along with pathos, Twain used logos. By doing so, he was trying to keep his reader’s attention closer. Mark Twain uses his own analysis to prove his point. He uses satire to pinpoint man’s flaws, while motivating his readers to analyze their own morals. Despite his use of satire, false authority and hasty generalizations, his piece was successful.Through his vivid metaphors which he calls experiments he pulls his readers in an emotional level. He persuades his readers to examine the ill traits of humanity and see the world through his eyes. Through this metaphor he makes his readers feel sorrow for the monks, anger that people acted so viciously, and anger that the media withheld information. He was very effective in making his audience feel the emotions he felt.
In conclusion the satirical style, vivid metaphors and underlying persuasion made this an exceptional read. His use of effective pathos instilled his emotional state into his work, and prompted similar feelings in his readers. His biased standpoint persuaded his readers to analyze their own morals. His writing style engaged people on an emotional level, and was able to highlight destructive behaviors that conflict with having good morals.
Persuading individuals to demonstrate use of their moral sense, in such an indirect manner was an extraordinary form of literary brilliance. I both agree and disagree with Mark Twain’s essay. I think that he supports his believes by a number of valid points, for example, that people think only about themselves and take from nature much more then they need. However, I think that by emphasizing the details of only the negative traits of humans Mark Twain forgets about their good nature and positive sides. In my opinion, Mark Twain was able to present his article very well. the Damned Human race is well written and the author did a great job with keeping the reader’s attention throughout the whole article. He was able to do so by using pathos and logos.
The novel: The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn
The novel The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain is an exciting book that describes the story of a young boy and his friend Jim. Huckleberry Finn, who is the protagonist in this tale, is a young boy who enjoys his immature life to the fullest. Playing pranks, going on adventures and running away from society are part of his daily thrill.
At first sight it might seem that Huckleberry Finn might be an uneducated boy who has no interest or probability of growing mature. However, throughout the story the immature boy has plenty of encounters which strengthen his character and lead him from boy- to manhood.
Huckleberry Finn, the son of a known drunk in town, is already able to look back at some exciting adventures and a chaotic and disobedient lifestyle. As he was taken under the wings of the widow Douglas. He lived in her nice house with the intentions of making him an acceptable figure of the american society. After three months Huckeberry Finn cannot take, living a high social life, full of annoying expectations, that he eventually leaves the town St. Petersburg. On his way to freedom and away of authority he gets to know Jim. A colored slave who also escaped from his owner because he was about to be sold to a new plantation owner. They become friends and start to head down the Mississippi river on a self-made raft.
On which they experience a bunch crazy adventures, sometimes even dramatic ones. While on their trip Huck basically only experiences fraud, theft and lies as he runs into his father and a clever couple of swindlers. He soon notices that justice, faith and humanity is only presented as a camouflage. At the end of their travels Huckleberry Finn and Jim meet Tom Sawyer and eventually return back to St. Petersburg. In the town Huck would again have the possibility of receiving a normal life and a bright future, but once more he decides not to stay. He wants to travel to the west, far far away from the newly experienced reality on his adventures. Huck is being presented as an all-knowing narrator, with corresponding commentary, but also as a naive boy who is going through a time of character strengthening and development in his life.
The novel, which was written by Mark Twain, soon showed to be one of the greatest american works in recent literary history. In the beginning of the writing phase of the book, it was at first solely seen as a continuance of Tom Sawyer, because the reader can tell that Huckleberry Finn has similar thinking styles as his Tom. But soon one will realize that Huck is a class by itself and showed himself as a strong character which can stand by himself and make the whole story of the novel worthwhile. The author includes in the novel things that have really happened his his live and the lives of some of his friends.
Furthermore, Mark Twain grew up in a time period of slavery which build his character while growing up. Therefore Huckleberry Finn as a character in he novel cannon simply be seen as a fictional figure but more as a person description which was drawn from real life people and events. I think that that is an important fact to know, because it adds more credibility to the main character of the novel. And one is able to believe changes that he goes through during his adventures with Jim are real and can be drawn to real life situations.
Now let’s get to asses the main character of the novel and how his status changes during the course of the story. Many readers of the book ‘The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn’ ask themselves whether Huck is a character that went through changes and developed as the story went on, or whether he is a character that is static and does not change at all in his believes and actions. But in agreement with many scholars and critics the character of Huckleberry Finn is changing and developing.
One can basically say that he is a character that grows from boy- to manhood. He is becoming more independent as he is able to witness many harsh realities that one faces in an adult life. Even though Huck does experience these things and does develop into more maturity some of his childish characteristics are still present in the final evaluation of the character. Following I will further discuss the development of the character of Huckleberry Finn and which events lead me to believe that he is a character that changes, and how these events are capable of strengthening the relationship between him and his new friend , the runaway slave Jim.
The whole story is being narrated in the first person and Huckleberry Finn is the narrator. So, the reader is able to witness the changes though the inner eyes of a little boy which experiences new things in life. By sharing as he seem them occur and by interpreting them in his own words and thoughts. Which is interesting for the reader because he basically has a front row seat to what is happening to the character and how he is changing. Because of this narration style there are no outer descriptions of the character throughout the novel. Meaning, that there are no other people evaluating and describing the character to us, the readers, in the story. All we witness are Huck’s own words and thoughts. In other words, one can say that the character is being fully described as the story is being told from the beginning to the end. Huck went through a very tough childhood, which shaped him to the person he is.
He grew up without a mother and his father was drinking all the time, which is the reason he often was not at home and was not able to take care of Huck. The main character also never had the chance to go to school and therefore is an illiterate and has not learned much in his life, yet. One day in the story a widow named, Douglas sees the character of Huck and is determined to help him get his life straightened out. She want him to go to school and wear proper attire. As well as going to church, teaching him manners and how to read and write. Huck on the other side does not like the fact that people are trying to change the way he is used to doing things and cannot adapt to the way society want him to be presented. The realization that Huckleberry cannot adapt to the changes and fit in with the people that he is surrounded by now, give him reason to flee from his miserable situation.
Even though he does get to wear clean clothes and gets to eat every day, are not good enough reasons for him to stay and his wish for freedom is even stronger. That is why he takes on the long journey down the Mississippi river. On that specific trip down the river Huckleberry Finn feels completely free from obligations and has a great time doing whatever he want to do. He feels very comfortable floating down the river and just relaxing on the raft, while not being in contact with anybody else and it is just himself and the nature surrounding him. But soon Huck realizes why he is so comfortable floating on the river. To him it seems that every time he get off of the raft and lands on shore he is exposed to society, which is only cruel and he does not like that. One night he went away from the river and witnesses a fight that happened in a family house. He was mad that he saw that unreasonable conflict and noticed that he did not want to be part of such things. That is why he stays on the river as long as possible so he can be free.
During his travel alone and after he meets Jim he goes through some moral struggles. He has to deal with the fact that society wants him to act and handle things in a certain way, but he personally seems to stuggle with the decisions of doing what he believes is right. It is hard fro him to decide how to act in front of Jim, whether it is right or wrong to help him in certain situations. The new decisions that he makes and the way he handles those struggles he has with himself and society show that he is developing as a character. The first time that Huckleberry Finn has an own feeling that he is doing something wrong and seeing where society’s views are different. When Jim and Huck are about to float past the city of Cairo and Huck somehow realizes that he is helping a slave escape from his master. He know that, that is an unacceptable fact in the society he lived with for a little while.
So, after assessing the situation Huck is determined to tell on Jim and hand him out to the next white slave holder. Bus as soon as he is about to start moving the raft towards shore Jim tells him how thankful he is that Huck helped him run away, and that he is the only person he ever met that did not break a promise that was made to him. At that statement Huck’s mindset changes again and when he is ashore and has the opportunity to give Jim away does the opposite and keeps his mouth shut. Huck notices how much Jim depends on his and realizes that he trusts him a lot. Futhermore he sees that he might be the only person to ever help Jim reach freedom, which is also what Huck strived for as he ran away from St. Petersburg.
Now both characters have something in common, the longing for freedom. The change in Huckleberry’s decision can be seen that he is gaining a feeling for compassion and is maturing in character. But as soon as the narrator gets back on he raft he realizes that he is not one hundred percent happy about the decision he has made. He know that he helped Jim but still understands that he has done wrong in the eyes of society.
Another example of a situation where the main character, Huckleberry Finn, gets a chance to develop his character is when he has to decide between friendship and society. This time Huck is again determined to go by society’s ways and tell on Jim. He is back in St. Petersburg, alone, and wants to tell Mrs. Watson where her runaway slave is. Also, this time the decision is even harder to be made by Huck than the first time while he was traveling on the river. At this point he had spend even more time with Jim and experienced great things with him and had a good time hanging out with Jim. Huck wrote a letter, where he admits helping Jim and telling his location. Only again to reconsider the whole situation as he thought about the great times he had with Jim.
Jim was now an even closer friend than he was while still on the way downstream. He recognized that Jim is not merely a slave, but a person with character and a good heart. Both characters finally have met somebody whom they can trust. That thought process makes Huck decide not to tell on Jim anymore. Even though he still continues to accept the fact that he is doing something really wrong in the eyes of society. This even really shows how the character of the narrator has changed and developed.
He disobeys society’s rules to help his friend find freedom. For Huck, Jim is now more important than society’s negative judgment on him. Huckleberry further explains that he would ‘rather go to hell’ is society’s eyes than to tell on Jim.
All things considered, the above mentioned examples should be proof enough for a reader to recognized that the main character, Huckleberry Finn, does go through some positive changes in his character. He has developed from a boy like thinking to a more complex human being, which can now determine on his own what is right or wrong, by the process of understanding what is acceptable in the eyes of society and what is acceptable in Huck’s own moral standings.
At the end of the novel Huck is able to make a decision on his own, not by merely disobeying and doing the exact opposite of what he was told to do. But understanding the difference of right and wrong and making a judgmental decision, while including his own values, morals and believes. The character is now able to make decisions based on two different sources. His own mind evaluations of a certain situation, and society’s accepted ways.