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The Life And Writings Of Samuel Clemens

1939 words - 8 pages

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or more widely-known for his pen name Mark Twain, is recognized as the father of American Literature due to his distinctive and “Americanized” literary styles, which set him aside from all other literature genre at the time. Destined to become a legendary figure, Mark Twain’s birth and death were observed with Halley’s Comet blazed across the sky. Though his writings were produced in nineteenth century, many of those underlying literary themes are well-applicable to the modern society and have attributed to his everlasting fame started during his time. A humorist is what most of audience considered himself to be, but many took the stance that his light-hearted jokes as the masquerade of a darker, melancholy truth.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a masterpiece of Mark Twain first published in 1885 received initial disappointing sales. His profane use of language grant him critical reviews which ultimately led to the banning of his work from the public library. However the forbiddance actually stirred public interest in the book. It also forced readers actually to purchase it instead of borrow it from library. The sales of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’s immediately went skyrocketed, and the name Mark Twain was known to every Americans overnight. Earnest Hemingway once commented, “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn…It’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since (Trogden 175).”
However not all book reviews are positive. One major arguments of Huckleberry Finn is whether or not it served as Twain’s racial outlet directed against slavery, or African Americans in general terms. Slavery is no foreign term to Twain. In fact, Twain’s birthplace Missouri is where slavery is regularly practiced. His father, John Marshall Clemens, has handled business involved slave trades. In his autobiography he has written: “In my schoolboy days I had no aversion to slavery. I was not aware that there was anything wrong about it. No one arraigned it in my hearing; the local papers said nothing against it; the local pulpit taught us that God approved it, that it was a holy thing, and the doubter need only look in the Bible if he wished to settle his mind — and then the texts were read aloud do us to make the matter sure (Neider 8). This is understandable. The young Mark Twain acknowledged the subordinate status of slaves as he was subconsciously trained by the environment he grew up. It is not until the several summers with his uncle John Quarles who owned a good number of slaves that he developed a more in depth version of slavery. He spent quality time with them, listened to the their personal stories that he would otherwise have no exposure to from his family. In actuality, one of the slave named Uncle Dan’l served a model for Jim, a runaway slave in Huckleberry Finn.
Initially portrayed as...

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