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The Life Of Mark Twain Essay

2125 words - 9 pages

My Mark TwainThe contributions that Mark Twain made to society and literature are remarkable. America was defining itself into an influential nation; through Mark Twain's writings he gave definition to what it meant to be an American. Using cutting and accurate humor, he attracted a range of readers and audiences. Twain stunned the world with his brilliance and talent. Ernest Hemingway, a fellow American author, felt that all American fiction was influenced by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and called the book the finest American novel ever written.Growing up on a farm in Florida, Missouri, Samuel Clemens enjoyed the delightfulness of the country life. At the age of six, Sam's best ...view middle of the document...

Boston's The Carpet-Bag and Philadelphia's American Courier also printed stories written by Clemens. He once wrote "something purely imaginary about Indians who had once visited Hannibal":But where now are the children of the forest? Hushed is the war-cry- no more does the light canoe cut the crystal waters of the Mississippi; but the remnant of those once powerful tribes are torn asunder and scattered abroad, and now they wander far, far from the homes of their childhood and the graves of their fathers (17).Unfortunately, Sam never received any pay for the stories, but these early publications granted him a dream for greater success and encouraged him to travel away from the home of his childhood (17). In 1853 Samuel left for St. Louis, ready to explore the world outside of Hannibal. In St. Louis, Sam worked for several newspapers and eventually went to work for his brother's own newspaper company. Seeking a greater adventure, Samuel decided to travel to South America to harvest coca. While aboard the streamer for South American, he dissolved his dreams of becoming a coca baron and decided to pursue his "boyhood ambition of becoming a master river pilot"(21). "When I was a boy, He said in the Life of the Mississippi, "there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades. That was to be a steamboat man" (11)."I want a good wife- I want a couple of them if they are particularly good," Mark Twain laughed after he was advised to find a wife (Lauber 238). After his friend "Charlie Langdon, from the Quaker City, showed him a picture of his sister Olivia, Twain was thunderstruck. He spoke of the picture continuously and once even asked to borrow the locket that contained it" (The Importance of Mark Twain 46-7). While visiting New York, Charley Langdon was eager to have his family meet the "now- famous" Mark Twain. Having dinner across the table from her, "At thirty-two years of age he fell instantly in love" (47). " With his marriage in 1870 to the 25 year old "Livy", Clemens life took a dramatic turn toward stabilization and normalcy" (Waisman 2). "Samuel Clemens-now known to America as Mark Twain- had married a wonderful woman who would make him "the happiest man on Earth" and serve as his editor until the end of her days" (49). With the increasing fame of Mark Twain and his new wife "Livy", the Clemens house became a center for the city's social and literary scene.Olivia's inheritance, along with Clemens earnings from lectures and books, enabled the family to lead a luxurious lifestyle. Moving into a large house to accommodate for children, the Clemens soon had their first daughter, Susan. She had poor health as a child and "at age thirteen, she wrote a biography of her father, which she included as part of Twain's Chapters From My Autobiography" (Waisman 2). The biography is a complete collection of her opinions on society and her father through the eyes of a teenage girl. "He is a very good man, and a very funny one.... He is the loveliest man...

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