This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Controls Of Literacy/A Look Through Mark Twain's Eyes On Identity.

3702 words - 15 pages

Throughout the works of Mark Twain there appears to be a subtle thread dealing with the concept of identity through race, slavery, gender, clothing, duality, and oppositions. There are also many layers to his storytelling; apparently funny stories reveal themselves to be keen satirical commentary on human foibles. “Twain’s faltering sense of direction” began about slavery, moral decay and deceptive realities (Kaplan 314). The changes in environment, society, education, political influences, family values and morals and other external influences, combined with physical genes, determines how mankind will evolve into adulthood. As he takes control of the “literary machine” (Deleuze & Guattari), he has effectively put himself in the position of the penal officer as he climbs up the ladder and lays his paper in the designer, preparatory to activating the machine. Twain gave his thoughts on humanity throughout his career and it has been said "his early acts of egalitarianism and solidarity with the victims of race hate were unusual enough. In his maturing writing life, however, Mark Twain began to lay bare truths about racial oppression with a particular vigor, using a new and democratic literary language that would forever change American prose" (Titta). Is also possible that his writing changed human perception of historical events?Mark Twain struggled with his own identity. This essay addresses that fact not as a question of authorial intent, but as a possible influence to his work. Mark Twains’ personal concern with his own identity may be explained by the fact that his real name is Samuel Langhorn Clemens. It is true that many writers use pseudonyms, but as Bradford Smith explains in his article, “Mark Twain and the Mystery of Identity,” there is reason to believe that Twain held the idea of his own identity with particular importance: the key to Mark Twain’s mind is the concept of identity. In every one of his important books it is both the identity of the individual on which his attention focuses and on the mystery of identity. The quest for identity is central to both his writing and his personality. Its importance in his works can be traced to its importance in his life. The devices that recur in his stories—disguise, deception, self-deception, and make-believe—all grow out of this concern with identity (425).A logical place to begin an examination of the connections and recurrent themes is with the two stories, Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins. The concept of dualism, dual nature, or dual meanings, as they relate to the formation of identity, was brought to my awareness by reading the afterward included in the Oxford version that contained both Pudd’nhead and Twins. Once my attention was drawn to it, I began to see many examples that could be examined as pertaining to this concept. One of the obvious themes in the novel is twining. First of all, it could be...

Find Another Essay On The Controls of Literacy/A look through Mark Twain's eyes on identity.

Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huck Finn" tells how society is inherently inconsiderate, as seen through the Boggs incident, the circus, and the Royal Nonesuch

659 words - 3 pages duke astraddle of a rail...they was all over tar and feathers, and didn't look like nothing in the world that was human...It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another (p.174)." Again, the society was characterized with cruelty, for the townspeople would do anything to demean anyone possible. Society, Mark Twain asserts, is inherently unkind and inconsiderate, for it tries to degrade anything that comes by. Through the Boggs incident, the circus, and the Royal Nonesuch, Mark Twain satirizes human society as "awful cruel (p.174)."

Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1978 words - 8 pages conscience causes him to battle between what he personally feels is right and what society has taught him is correct. Huck becomes even more conflicted as he and Jim approach the city of Cairo when he reflects on what he believes to has been a poor decision on his part to assist Jim, “‘What had poor Miss Watson done to you, that you could see her nigger go off right under your eyes and never say a single word? What did that poor old woman do to you

Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

1915 words - 8 pages , confusedly. His eyes met Joe's.” (9.53). In this Quotation from the novel– The Adventure of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain compared two characters– the protagonist– Tom Sawyer and the antagonist– Injun Joe. In order to show the similarities in these two characters within the acts they commit, while demonstrating the negative effects on each individual characters through the act of guilt on Tom Sawyer. The theme of guilt found within the novel is shown through

Through the Eyes of a Tiger

1841 words - 7 pages Through the Eyes of a TigerLooking back a few years, I remember my first convocation day at The Westridge School for Girls. Four hundred girls in dresses that much resemble nurses uniforms (except for the curly, green "W" on the right breast pocket) parade into the gymnasium. Pretty soon all I can see are rows and rows of girls seated on the bleachers, as small as fourth graders and as old as seniors. The headmistress welcomes us to another year

Seeing Through the Eyes of a Child

1867 words - 8 pages To see the world through the eyes of a child would be a chance to regain the innocence one loses as they age. No one has ever been born hating other humans for the color of their skin. When a child is born they have a purity that adults cannot hold. The idea that one race is superior to another is a belief learned with time, through personal experiences, parental influences as well as community effects. The author’s technique of distorting the

Kindred: Through The Eyes Of A Slave

2479 words - 10 pages “just the way you use a bit on a horse” and she is defenseless against the exploitation and manipulation (Butler, 236). Through Dana’s conversations with Alice and Sarah, Butler accurately describes the turmoil female slaves suffered over the uncertain futures of their children. One aspect of slave relationships that Butler only barely touches upon in her novel is the strong bond between females on the plantation. Women depended on each other to

Through the Eyes of a Fly

1477 words - 6 pages the normal way the reader thinks into a deeper interpretation on life. She uses unusual grammar rules, like random capitalization and dashes throughout her stanzas. Dickinson did this all while taking the reader through a twisted poem that could be taken many different ways. With all of the poetic elements put into this poem, there is still a vast amount of mystery behind the true meaning Dickinson was trying to portray.” I Heard a Fly Buzz

“Through the Eyes of a Victim”

2146 words - 9 pages The staggering truths about domestic violence are evident in every town, city, state and nation! Furthermore, it is a criminal offense that does not discriminate against color, creed, gender, or socioeconomic status! Marcy was all too familiar with the horrific dangers of this crime. In fact, domestic violence took Marcy through her own private hell and learning the difficult lessons of life, including the ones that no one discloses. At the

through the eyes of

898 words - 4 pages Being an African back during the fifteenth through nineteenth century wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Waking up every day, living in tribes, and doing daily duties were the most common day for Africans. Until, the middle passage emerged, also known as the Slave Trade. Africans were taken through a devastating ride through history in the making. Africans were kidnapped out of nowhere by the “white men”. The British, the Europeans, the

A satirical view of the old south in Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

810 words - 3 pages Elaborate uses of race, unprecedented statements about the role of religion and an overall mockery of the society of the old south serve as a method of conveying Mark Twain's opinion of society. In his dandy riverboat adventure The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain attacks the traditions of slavery, racism, and the accepted traditions of the old south. He helped expose the hypocrisies of the southern society through this novel.Twain

A Psychoanalytic Reading of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1595 words - 6 pages A Psychoanalytic Reading of Huckleberry Finn        Psychoanalytic conditions, stages and symptoms pervade the seemingly simplistic narration of a child-narrator, Huck Finn. Such Freudian psychoanalytic ideas as "Thanatos," "repressed desires" and how they seek their way back through dream work, through "parapraxis," can all find examples in this fiction. Besides, Lacanian concept of the unconscious as the "nucleus of our being," as "an

Similar Essays

Reversed Right And Wrong Of The World In The Eyes Of A Child: On Reading Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn

2054 words - 8 pages hardly breathe some free air into our deep heart to ponder over them. As a result, what is the real world like, what is right and wrong in it are not easy to answer by us in a plain and vivid way. The picture of these are blurred and misty before us until we see a realistic panorama of the world in the naive eyes of a child-Huckleberry Finn. Although the right and wrong in it were always ironically inverted and commonly accepted by most people at

Through The Eyes Of Terror A Look Behind The Motivation Of The Taliban And Other Terrorists

1426 words - 6 pages Through the eyes of a terrorist:The motivations behind the horrorIt is very clear to everyone world wide that any terrorist actions, especially the most recent on September eleventh, are very wicked and evil. Everyone except the terrorists themselves, that is. So the question of what the terrorists underlying motivations are arises, and for good reason. The only person that can really answer that question is one who studies terrorism or is a

What Was Going On In America Between 1810 1830. What Might America Look Like Through The Eyes Of A Foreinger Like Alexis Tocqueville?

1153 words - 5 pages , nicknamed "Ol' Hickory", was elected president. Jackson was a more low-key president compared to Monroe when it came to entertaining and being social. That may have been because Jackson became a widow right before he became president. On top of his still grieving his loss, he also did not have a wife to help him with coordinating and hosting social events the way Monroe did. Jackson seemed to like his privacy more than being involved with large crowds

Comic In Time Travel Stories (Mark Twain's "Connecticut Yankee On King Arthur's Court" And Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhikers' Guide Through The Galaxy")

1995 words - 8 pages characters who travel through time usually get into.The source of comic lies in the situations where a character finds his usual behavior and beliefs contrasted and often confronted with those of an alien surroundings he finds himself into. From this kind of social, cultural and temporal misunderstanding rises a comical situation which the character finds difficult to manage, and therefore looks silly, or finds the society he got into to be that way