ReviewEssays.com - Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays
Search

Mark Twain

Essay by review  •  September 10, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,172 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,378 Views

Essay Preview: Mark Twain

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

Twain, Mark

Find in this article

Print article

Send us feedback

Twain, Mark, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), American writer and humorist, whose best work is characterized by broad, often irreverent humor or biting social satire. Twain's writing is also known for realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression.

Born in Florida, Missouri, Clemens moved with his family to Hannibal, Missouri, a port on the Mississippi River, when he was four years old.

Advertisement

There he received a public school education. After the death of his father in 1847, Clemens was apprenticed to two Hannibal printers, and in 1851 he began setting type for and contributing sketches to his brother Orion's Hannibal Journal. Subsequently he worked as a printer in Keokuk, Iowa; New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and other cities. Later Clemens was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River until the American Civil War (1861-1865) brought an end to travel on the river. In 1861 Clemens served briefly as a volunteer soldier in the Confederate cavalry. Later that year he accompanied his brother to the newly created Nevada Territory, where he tried his hand at silver mining. In 1862 he became a reporter on the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, and in 1863 he began signing his articles with the pseudonym Mark Twain, a Mississippi River phrase meaning "two fathoms deep." After moving to San Francisco, California, in 1864, Twain met American writers Artemus Ward and Bret Harte, who encouraged him in his work. In 1865 Twain reworked a tale he had heard in the California gold fields, and within months the author and the story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," had become national sensations.

In 1867 Twain lectured in New York City, and in the same year he visited Europe and Palestine. He wrote of these travels in The Innocents Abroad (1869), a book exaggerating those aspects of European culture that impress American tourists. In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon. After living briefly in Buffalo, New York, the couple moved to Hartford, Connecticut. Much of Twain's best work was written in the 1870s and 1880s in Hartford or during the summers at Quarry Farm, near Elmira, New York. Roughing It (1872) recounts his early adventures as a miner and journalist; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) celebrates boyhood in a town on the Mississippi River; A Tramp Abroad (1880) describes a walking trip through the Black Forest of Germany and the Swiss Alps; The Prince and the Pauper (1882), a children's book, focuses on switched identities in Tudor England; Life on the Mississippi (1883) combines an autobiographical account of his experiences as a river pilot with a visit to the Mississippi nearly two decades after he left it; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) satirizes oppression in feudal England (see Feudalism).

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the sequel to Tom Sawyer, is considered Twain's masterpiece. The book is the story of the title character, known as Huck, a boy who flees his father by rafting down the Mississippi River with a runaway slave, Jim. The pair's adventures show Huck (and the reader) the cruelty of which men and women are capable. Another theme of the novel is the conflict between Huck's feelings of friendship with Jim, who is one of the few people he can trust, and his knowledge that he is breaking the laws of the time by helping Jim escape. Huckleberry Finn, which is almost entirely narrated from Huck's point of view, is noted for its authentic language and for its deep commitment to freedom. Huck's adventures also provide the reader with a panorama of American life along the Mississippi before the Civil War. Twain's skill in capturing the rhythms of that life help make the book one of the masterpieces of American literature.

Continue article...

Advertisement

The Essential Rumi

Barnes & Noble

more like this...

Cane River (Oprah Edition)

...

...

Download as:   txt (7.1 Kb)   pdf (108 Kb)   docx (12.2 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on ReviewEssays.com
Citation Generator

(2010, 09). Mark Twain. ReviewEssays.com. Retrieved 09, 2010, from http://dzbj10.com/essay/Mark-Twain/1701.html

"Mark Twain" ReviewEssays.com. 09 2010. 2010. 09 2010 <http://dzbj10.com/essay/Mark-Twain/1701.html>.

"Mark Twain." ReviewEssays.com. ReviewEssays.com, 09 2010. Web. 09 2010. <http://dzbj10.com/essay/Mark-Twain/1701.html>.

"Mark Twain." ReviewEssays.com. 09, 2010. Accessed 09, 2010. http://dzbj10.com/essay/Mark-Twain/1701.html.