Mark Twain: America’s Great Humorist Essay

The nineteenth century United States was ravage by war. poorness and great enlargement. Novels and American Literature flourished during this clip go forthing many of this period’s great writers to stay ill-famed. Much of this literature is still considered some of the most influential written plants of art the universe over. Students all over the state still read and larn much from one of these writers being Mark Twain. The authorship. of Mark Twain. one of America’s greatest humourists and novelists. was the consequence of his travels and life experiences. Mark Twain the male parent of American Literature was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November thirtieth 1835 in Florida. Missouri. He was born the sixth of seven kids highly premature and sallow. to Jane Lampton Clemens and Marshall Clemens. a clerk. lawyer general. and storeowner in Tennessee ( The Life That Shaped Mark Twain ) . His male parent passed when at the immature age of 12 while his female parent lived until he was 55 old ages old. ( Mark Twain House ) Samuel’s early life was greatly influenced by the Mississippi river after he moved to Hannibal. Missouri at the age of 4.

Hannibal became the influence for the fabricated town. St. Petersburg in both novels on Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Samuel ne’er had any formal instruction. but was a speedy and acute scholar. and visited public libraries rather often. Being so fascinated by the river. he became a greenhorn learner with the aspiration of going a riverboat pilot. later gaining his licence in 1858. His experiences as a successful pilot played a major function in his authorship. and even influenced the pen name he used for his full authorship calling. The river besides took his brother. Henry’s life being the victim of a steamboat detonation while working on the river ( Hannibel. cyberspace ) . Clemens’ love for literature was evident early on. He began working as a compositor or printing learner at the age of 11 and continued to make so. throughout most of his immature life. He traveled around most of the state even worked as a compositor in New York City. Philadelphia. St. Louis. San Francisco and more. He wrote for several newspapers and worked as an editor temporarily ( Mark Twain House ) .

He even served a short clip in the Confederate ground forces. seeing no action and subsequently was sent to go European states with the assignment of composing travel logs to be printed in the newspapers ( The Life That Shaped Mark Twain ) . Although he enjoyed working in the printing universe he returned to the river that he loved so much and became a steamboat pilot. a place that held great rank and regard. The pilot’s were paid good for the clip and were indispensable for cognizing the ever-changing deepnesss of the Mississippi River. As the pilots charted along the river they would often halt to look into the river deepnesss utilizing the 2nd line on a pole in the river signified two fthms or twelve pess deep. which meant the H2O was deep plenty for the boats to go through. To mean this deepness the boat workers would shout out. “mark couple. ” ( The Mississippi River ) This is where he would have his iconic pen name. He continued to work as a steamboat pilot even though the Mississippi took the life of his younger brother in a tragic steamboat detonation.

If it weren’t for the eruption of American Civil War. in 1865 discontinuing travel on the Mississippi. he may hold spent the remainder of his yearss on that river ( Mark Twain House ) . With no work as a steamboat pilot. he left the river to follow his older brother Orion. to the West. During this clip he traveled the western portion of the US. through the Rocky Mountains. visited Mormon towns and stopped in Virginia City. Nevada where it was that he foremost used the pen name. Mark Twain. Upon returning place from his travels he settled down and married Olivia Livy Langdon in 1870 and had 4 kids together. Their matrimony was plagued with grief. Of the three girls that they had together. Susy. Clara and Jean merely Clara lived past her mid-twentiess. They besides had one boy together who died of Diphtheria at 19 months old. Some historiographers suggest that many of his plants were influenced by the societal elite he came into contact with as a consequence of his matrimony.

From his matrimony to Olivia. who came from a broad yet educated household. this wide adult male was exposed to much more. He met slavery protagonists. emancipationists. women’s rights militants ( including Harriett Beecher Stowe ) and Frederick Douglas a Utopian author. His positions expanded and in the coming old ages he wrote most of his successful plants at his sister-in-law’s house during summer vacations ( Mark Twain House ) . Oliver and Samuel settled down in a place that he built for the twosome in Hartford. Connecticut where he felt the household would be decently sheltered. The great plants of Mark Twain included: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Life on the Mississippi. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. and A Tramp Abroad were greatly influenced by his early life. experiences on the Mississippi river and his universe travels ( Mark Twain House ) . In composing. A Connecticut Yankee. he opened the universe to a new genre of authorship. being science fiction.

The novel tells the narrative of Hank a Connecticut blacksmith whom was knocked out in a battle and wakes up back in clip in King Arthur’s Court ( A Connecticut Yankee ) . This increased involvement in clip travel and more and a recent gesture image movie entitled. The Black Knight. starring Martin Lawrence was a loose adaptation of this 1889 classic ( The Black Knight ) . The writer included his feelings on many controversial subjects into his work. He wrote of political issues. issues between the North and South. bondage. and poked merriment at political and societal norms. He held a great belief in mysterious connexions and included this symbology in many of his pieces of composing. Many contribute this to his birth co-occuring with Halley’s Comet ( Mark Twain House ) . In the Adventures of Tom Sawyer bondage was hardly mentioned by Twain. and African Americans were referred as “Negros. ” alternatively of more colourful footings used at that clip.

Then in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain portrays Huckleberry Finn as being adamantly against bondage even trying to forestall Jim. the. “negro. ” from being found. Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn. during a clip that ex-slaves were subjected to economic development. disenfranchisement. and motiveless lynchings. Huckleberry Finn. is a sarcasm non about bondage but of the racism that overtook American society as Twain wrote the book in the late 1870s and early 1880s. which continues to stain America today ( Mark Twain House ) . The author’s positions on bondage in the US. during the 1800’s. was greatly influenced by his early upbringing in the province of Missouri. a slave province. Subsequently he related to those experiences in his novels when showing his ain positions on the pattern of bondage. Bing a Southerner he was taught to be pro-slavery. and was encouraged to maintain slaves. but he genuinely shared assorted positions on the topic that comprised of southern. western and. “Yankee beliefs. ”

The writer developed this assorted position thru his experiences as a roamer. life in 100s of topographic points around the universe. This wide experience allowed him the freedom to take positions on bondage that weren’t innate to southern life. This was a hard place as anti-slavery beliefs. were against the beliefs of his household. Conversations with emancipationists. his male parent in jurisprudence. and former slaves. forced Twain. to re-examine the universe and the ethical motives that were ingrained in him as a consequence of his southern upbringing ( Mark Twain House ) . One of Samuel’s earliest memories of slaves came from an old slave twosome who worked on his uncle’s farm. He spent clip at that place in the summer with his siblings and would frequently be entertained by the story-telling of slave. Dan’l and Aunt Hannah. They were some of the first slaves that he knew and cared for before he. of all time knew it was. “wrong. ” ( The Life That Shaped Mark Twain )

In one of his many autobiographies. he explained that one of his first memories of seeing slaves haunted him. It was a memory of 10 or more slaves chained together waiting to be shipped downstream to the slave market. He remarked on how sad their faces were ( Hannibal. cyberspace ) . He subsequently would do his first composing visual aspect in Atlantic Monthly by stating the true and sad history of a slave named. Mary Ann Cord whose hubby and seven kids were taken from her and sold to other slave owners. Mark Twain felt this was incorrect and decided to portion it with the universe ( The Life That Shaped Mark Twain ) . In Huckleberry Finn. Samuel writes that after Huck helped break one’s back Jim acquire to freedom. his witting started to eat at him. doing him to compose a missive to Jim’s proprietor. explicating where Jim was. He thought to himself about how close. “I came to being lost and traveling to hell. ” ( Twain. 214 )

After composing the missive he hesitates while believing to himself on the river’s border. about how good Jim was and about their great clip together and so he said to himself. “All right. so. I’ll go to hell. ” rupturing up the missive and altering his head ( Twain. 214 ) . This scene most decidedly symbolizes the internal battle Samuel felt. when covering with the act of bondage. Samuel met great success with his many plants of fiction. but his love for scientific discipline Ate through his pocket. Samuel made more than todays’ 8 million dollars and pass it all on seeking to assist new innovations take off which turned out to be great failures. All of his nest eggs were dumped into scientific discipline due to the fact that it intrigued him so much that he wanted to be apart of something new. Many say that Twain passed off from a broken bosom. the summer before the decease of his last girl his best friend H. H. Rogers besides passed off.

It is said that the unhappiness from the combination of great losingss created his broken bosom. He died on April 21. 1910 at the age of 75 along with the reappearance on Haley’s comet. He ever joked that came into this universe with Haley and would besides go forth with her. In his ulterior life Samuel attempted holding a publication company and continued on authorship. ( Mark Twain House ) His last authorship included an autobiography that was written in a jumble chronological order. ever lodging to his humorist roots. Many bookmans and historiographers have attempted to reorganise the work as to do it more apprehensible without success. With his disorderly autobiography he left American Literature everlastingly changed. The Kennedy Center in Washington. DC even gives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. every twelvemonth to an creative person who displays a great impact on American society similar to the ways that Mark Twain did in the nineteenth century ( Kennedy Center ) . Samuel left behind a bequest of great wit and satire all of which can be attributed to his life on the Mississippi River his experiences and his universe travels.

Plants Cited
“2013 Mark Twain Prize Recipient Carol Burnett. ” The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor. N. p. . n. d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
“The Black Knight. ” IMDb. IMDb. com. n. d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court: Novel Summary. ” Novelguide. N. p. . n. d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
“A Life Lived in a Quickly Changing Universe: Samuel L. Clemens‚ 1835-1910. ” Welcome to the Mark Twain House & A ; Museum. N. p. . n. d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. “Hannibal. net | The Hannibal Courier-Post. ” Hannibal. cyberspace | The Hannibal Courier-Post. N. p. . n. d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

“The Life That Shaped Mark Twain’s Anti-Slavery Views. ” AFT. N. p. . n. d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
“The Mississippi River. ” Mark Twain at Large: . University of California. n. d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
Couple. Mark. and Harriet Elinor. Smith. Autobiography of Mark Twain ( vol. 1 ) : Authoritative Edition from the Mark Twain Project. Readers ed. Vol. 1. Berkeley. Calcium: Uracil of California. 2010. Print. Mark Twain Papers.


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