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A Brief History Of Mark Twain

1399 words - 6 pages

There are many quotes to describe a classical American author, but Ulysses S. Grant describes one particular true American author as “. . . the simple soldier, who, all untaught of the silken phrase markers, linked words together with an art surpassing the art of schools and into them put a something which will bring American ears, as long as America shall last, the roll of his vanished drums and the thread of his marching hosts.” (American Experience, Grant’s Memoirs) Mark Twain is this simple soldier who is a true American author who expressed America with his writings. He fought for America in his writings as he did when he fought in the Civil War; the realistic literary time period. And his travels around the nation and life-changing experiences influenced him to write for the American readers to imagine what he viewed. Twain is a true American author due to his life events that influenced him to share with his beloved readers.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (or Mark Twain if one can correct) had dreams as a boy, just like any other young boy. After the death of his father, he set off to Hannibal, Missouri to work with his brother, Orion, for a newspaper called the Hannibal Gazette. He was only thirteen at the time. This, of course, was not his dream. Yet it’s how he began writing. He wrote short, funny stories about American tales in the newspapers he was obligated to publish. Clemens then became influenced by his own imagination to become a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi river. He did become a pilot, and this gave rise to his story Life on the Mississippi. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 he was drafted as a Confederate soldier and served for two years. After the
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war he moved with Orion to Nevada. Here in Nevada he began writing again and created his pen name, Mark Twain - by definition, ‘Mark Twain’ means two fathoms, or 12 feet, deep. From being in the Civil War, he experienced an event where a flour sac was being auctioned. . . over and over again. This was recognized as The National Sanitary Flour Sac, and recognized in Twain’s popular novel Roughing It. This was one of the first novels that Mark Twain published during the Realism literary time period. It fit in the modern literary period of the Realism period due to Twain’s use of modern slang and emotions and a vast amount of imagery. After this event in his life he began to travel, write his well-known novels, and make lectures. Later on he experienced financial troubles due to spending his money on ‘worthless inventions.’ He knew Ulysses S. Grant very well and made a compromise with him; to write Grant’s memoirs and make a profit to pay of the debt of both of them - yes, Grant had financial troubles as well. Mark Twain published Grant’s Memoirs with his own publishing company, Charles L. Webster & Co., in 1885, after Grant’s death. Due...

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