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Mark Twain's Short Stories and Essays

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❶Edward, if in an obviously comfortable position, lives a sequestered life in the palace, dominated by the dying Henry VIII. A loosely organized, partly autobiographical story of Mississippi steamboat life before and after the Civil War.

Mark Twain American Literature Analysis

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Essays on Mark twain

Tom, sensing how precarious his situation is in the palace, goes about accumulating as much knowledge as he can about how he ought to act, hoping to wait out the absence of the prince.

His task is complicated by the death of the king and the subsequent need for the prince to take a serious role in governing the country even before he is crowned. Pleased in part by the comforts of his position, he brings his native intelligence and his guile to bear on the problem, but he is determined eventually to clear up the matter.

The prince is always less flexible than Tom, and he never admits to anyone that he is not the royal child; indeed, he is determined to play the ruler even in rags.

Only the chance help of Miles Hendon, a gentleman-soldier home from the wars, protects him, and even Hendon has difficulty keeping the prince out of trouble. Hendon thinks he is mad, but he likes the boy and is prepared to be patient with him, hoping that in time, he will be drawn out of his madness by kindness.

Both boys, caught in radically different situations quite beyond their former experience, respond admirably, if the prince is always somewhat less agile in dealing with problems than Tom. All the obvious problems of rags and riches are displayed, sometimes with comic intent but often with serious concern.

Twain uses the switched identities for purposes beyond the study of character or comic confusion. The parallels between the two, then, go beyond their physical resemblance. They are lively, strong-willed, imaginative boys who at the beginning of the novel are captives.

Tom is terrorized by his criminal father. Edward, if in an obviously comfortable position, lives a sequestered life in the palace, dominated by the dying Henry VIII. Tom dreams of a life of royal power and plays that game with his mates in the slums, then he is given his chance. Edward is also given his chance to meet his subjects, sunk in the squalor of poverty, class privilege, and legal savagery. Both are freed of their fathers, one dying, the other disappearing into the criminal world forever, possibly also dead.

What they do with their chances is central to the most serious themes in the book. What could have been simply a charming fairy tale becomes, as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is to become later, a study of boys becoming men. A loosely organized, partly autobiographical story of Mississippi steamboat life before and after the Civil War.

Written early in his career, before the difficulties of his personal life had a chance to color his perception, and filled with reminiscent celebration of his time as a boy and man, as an apprentice and as a Mississippi steamboat pilot, it is a lively, affectionate tribute hardly muted by the fact that the world of the romantic pilots of the Mississippi had disappeared forever during the Civil War and the development of the railroads.

It is a great grab-bag of a book. It starts formally enough, with a sonorous history of the river that reveals how much Twain feels for the phenomenon of the Mississippi which will appear again in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , but swiftly falls into rambling anecdotes, comic turns, and tall tales.

It has, as is often the case in early Twain, a weakness for elephantine humor of the unsophisticated, midwestern rural stripe, but the obvious happiness that marks the tonality of the book manages to keep it going despite its regular habit of floundering in bathos. The book could well have descended into an amusing shambles had it not been used to tell the very long, detailed, and sometimes hilarious story of the steamboat pilots and of how Twain as a young boy wheedles his way onto the Paul Jones , where Mr.

Bixby, the pilot, agrees to teach him the Mississippi from New Orleans to St. Louis for five hundred dollars, which Twain is to pay him out of his first wages as a pilot. These passages are some of the best action writing done by Twain, and they anticipate the kind of exciting river narrative that is so important in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Twain obviously fell in love with the river and with piloting, and the whole book is a joyful exercise in telling it once and for all, since it had, at the time of printing, been lost forever. Mindful of this, Twain was determined to get it down in all its detail, and he follows the trade from its height, when the pilots were kings, through the battles to unionize as a defense against the owners, to the eventual falling away of the trade during the war period.

There is a kind of broken-backed structure to the work, caused in part by the fact that earlier versions of chapters 4 to 17 originally appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in serial form. These were not sufficient to make a book, so the second half was added, with Twain, now the celebrity writer, touring the river and the cities along its banks.

This later material is not all bad, but it has nothing like the dramatic focus or energy of the earlier chapters, and there is a feeling that Twain is sometimes at pains to pad it, despite the success of the anecdotes.

The twenty-two years that separate the later Twain from the early adventures of the boy Clemens take much of the immediacy out of the book, even when Twain tries to praise the improvements that engineering science has imposed on the river. Twain, the businessman, saw the profit; Clemens, the old pilot, saw the loss. It is certainly true that this latter material best illustrates the function of the book as a travel document, as Twain catalogs the changes in the river and in the towns along its banks.

The decades that had passed between the events of the first half and the second reveal how quickly the Midwest was catching up with the East and how the village and town landscape was giving way to small cities. Huckleberry Finn, tired of being beaten by his father and of well-meaning people trying to civilize him, takes to the Mississippi on a raft and discovers that he has a runaway slave along for the ride. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may at first have seemed to Twain to be an obvious and easy sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , but this book, begun in the mid s, then abandoned, then taken up again in and dropped again, was not ready to be published until It was worth the delay.

In some ways it is a simpler novel than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ; it has nothing like the complication of plot which made that earlier novel so compelling. Huck, harassed by the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, who want to give him a good home and a place in normal society, and by his brutal father, who wants to get his hands on the money that Huck and Tom found in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , decides to get away from it all, and he runs away.

This time, he does not have the tempering influence of Tom Sawyer, who was prepared to run away to a nearby island but could not resist going home for his own funeral. Tom is only an occasional renegade, eager for the romance but not the long-term reality of rebellion.

Huck is of tougher stuff, and he intends to go for good. No better indication of this is to be seen than in the simple fact that Tom tries to smoke but does not have the stomach for it: Huck does not play at it.

He is a real smoker and a real rebel—or so he thinks. Kidnapped by his father and held captive by him, Huck revels at least in the freedom of the barbaric world without soap, water, or school, but he manages to get away, leaving a trail that suggests he has been murdered, and heads for an island in the Mississippi as a start on his attempt to get away from his father and from the well-meaning sisters who would turn him into a respectable citizen.

He is on his way to leave all of his troubles behind him. It is at this point that Twain adds the complication that is to be central to the ascent of this novel from juvenile fancy to the level of moral seriousness. Jim, whose wife and children have already been separated from him and sold to a southern owner, is determined to escape to the free northern states, work as a free man, and eventually buy his family out of bondage. Jim is property before he is a man, and Huck is deeply troubled, surprisingly, by the thought that he is going to help Jim.

He sees it, in part, as a robbery, but more interestingly, he sees his cooperation as a betrayal of his obligation to the white society of which he is a member.

Huck, the renegade, has, despite himself, deeply ingrained commitments to the idea that white people are superior to black people, and for all his disdain for that society, he is strongly wedded to it. This conflict provides the psychological struggle for Huck throughout the novel.

Even when the two move on, driven by the news that in the town a reward has been posted for Jim, accusing him of murdering Huck, Huck carries a strong sense of wrongdoing because he is helping Jim to escape—not from the murder charge, which can be easily refuted, but from his mistress, who clearly owns him and is entitled to do with him what she will.

Nevertheless, Huck and Jim set off on the raft, which is wedded archetypally to the Ulyssean ship and may be seen as the vehicle for Huck to find out who he is and what kind of man he is likely to become.

The pattern is a common one in the history of fiction; Twain weds it to another common structure, the picaresque, which has a long literary history and in which the main characters, while traveling, encounter trials and tribulations that test their wits and ultimately their moral fiber.

The Grangerford-Shepherdson feud, for example, shows the kind of virulent stupidity that can obsess even relatively civilized human beings. The confidence men who call themselves the Duke and the King, however, take over the raft and use Huck and Jim and anyone else they can deceive for profit without concern of any kind. Huck fears these men but is reluctant to make a clean break from them, though it is fair to remember that they watch him and Jim very closely. The ultimate betrayal comes when Huck, who has let their confidence games be played out in several communities, draws the line when they try to defraud a family of three daughters of their inheritance.

The Duke and the King escape without discovering that Huck has revealed their plan. Undismayed by their loss, they start their fraudulent games again, committing their most thoughtlessly cruel act by selling Jim for the reward money. This is the point of no return for Huck. Jim—ignorant, superstitious, and timid but loyal and devoted to Huck—has, on the long trip down the river, shown over and over that he is a man of considerable character, despite his color and despite his disadvantaged life as a slave.

Huck, in turn, discovers that however much he tries to distinguish Jim as other than an equal, however much he is bothered by his determination to see Jim as a lesser being than the white man, he cannot ignore his growing concern for him nor his deepening affection and respect for the way in which Jim endures and goes on. Disgusted by the unfeeling barbarity of the King and the Duke, Huck sets out to free Jim, believing that in so doing, he will go to Hell.

Huck passes himself off as Tom in order to get to Jim, who is being kept in a farm outhouse. With the arrival of Tom himself, who passes himself off as his brother Sid, the fun begins, as Tom, as wildly romantic as ever, plots to free Jim the hardest way possible.

That battle has been won when Huck decides to save Jim. All works out well in the end. Huck has other ideas. All this horseplay on the farm is irrelevant, if pleasingly so, to the real strength of the novel, which lies in the journey down the mighty Mississippi, during which Huck Finn learns to care for someone, and perhaps more important, throws off that least valuable influence of society upon him: Huck, in a sense, comes to the end of this novel as the most civilized white person of all.

It is a further version of the historical fantasy that he used in The Prince and the Pauper , in which the commonly accepted inhumanities of early Renaissance life were exposed to civilized, liberal ideas which were not to have much support for some centuries to come.

Some of that savagery had been shown in The Prince and the Pauper , but in this book there is a predominating line of outright cruelty. Hank Morgan may want to civilize a vicious, savage, ignorant populace, but he has in himself disturbing inclinations to what, in the twenty-first century, would be recognized as a fascistic zeal for power, if strongly tempered by his desire to bring an entire civilization out of the Dark Ages and into the nineteenth century in one lifetime.

The novel is a very dark one which, significantly, does not have the happy ending which draws The Prince and the Pauper back into the fairy tale genre with a kind of Dickensian sweetness, with the villains punished and the good people living happily ever after. Hank Morgan is not simply trying to get through an unfamiliar situation with some vestige of moral integrity intact, as was often the case with previous Twain characters, including Huck Finn.

He sees this accident as a chance to anticipate history, to eliminate hundreds of years of pain and suffering, and to bring Camelot kicking and screaming as it surely does into the enlightened nineteenth century. It is, however, another example of the way Twain makes obviously simple literary forms work in more than one way, and it possesses tonal range which, if sometimes excessive, indicates how ambitious and daring he can be.

The Innocents Abroad First published: Travel literature Twain accompanies a group of affluent Americans on a tour of Europe and the Holy Land and reports on the sights and sounds and the comic and satiric confrontations between the Old and the New Worlds. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer First published: The Prince and the Pauper First published: Life on the Mississippi First published: Travel literature A loosely organized, partly autobiographical story of Mississippi steamboat life before and after the Civil War.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn First published: Investigating infrastructures whilst national open data across countries. Top manager a man to fit your teaching styl order teaching and learnin cultural kind activities such as health, obesity, and protection of specific products.

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Christened as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain was born on November 30, in the small river town of Florida, Missouri, just miles from Indian Territory. The sixth child of John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton, Twain lived in Florida, Missouri until the age of four, at which time his family relocated to Hannibal in hopes of improving their living situation.

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The complete works of mark twain, searchable format. Also contains a biography and quotes by Mark Twain. Dec 14, - The 10 Wittiest Essays By Mark Awful German Language. As anyone who has ever learned or attempted to learn a second language knows, it is .

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Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn A Case Study in Critical Controversy Controversy Over the Ending of the Story The Depiction of White People in Works of Twain and Douglass Mark Twains Puddnhead Wilson Critical Analysis. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Mark Twain’s novels were not just storytelling but those actually contained a great deal of elementsthat reflected real situation of the society. ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, one of the most famous of Mark Twain’s works, is .