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The Stories Of Samuel Clemens Essay

1420 words - 6 pages

Have you ever hear of the author Samuel L. Clemens? If not you will probably recognize his pseudonym Mark Twain. Sam Clemens received his pen name when he was a “riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River where the cry ‘mark twain’ signaled the depth of water -- about 12 feet was required for the safe passage of riverboats (“Mark Twain” par. 1).” Twain’s literary style consisted mainly of humor. “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt,” is an example of Twain’s comical style. This critical humor made him an iconic american. He was a very talented speaker, writer, and humorist (“Mark Twain” par. 2). He also tended to use ...view middle of the document...

To make matters even worse for Twain, the barber does a poor job and constantly disagrees with him. Twain’s literary style shows through again when he is talking about the barber lathering half of his face before going to the window to watch a dog fight, then losing a bet to the other barbers. He then says that the Number 2’s loss gave him “great satisfaction.” When he was actually getting shaved he mentions that he was trying to imagine where he would cut him first and then he says that the barber got ahead of him and cut him before he had his mind made up. This is also showing his comical stylings. He then tried to get Number 2 to put up the razor for fear of him trying to shave Twain’s tender spot that he said no razor could touch twice without making trouble but the barber insisted and as soon as he went over the spot the “dreaded pimple-signs of a close shave rose up.” The next thing that the barber does is that he soaks his towel in bay rum and “slaps” Twain in the face with it.
The characters in Twain’s stories usually share similar personality traits. Most of the time these characters have bad luck in whatever situation that they find themselves. In “About Barbers” the main character has bad luck in the barber that cuts his hair. In “Boons of Life” the protagonist tries every option except the option of death so he suffers most of his life until he finally decides to choose death when it’s too late. In “Dan Murphy” a well-respected man by the same name fought in the war and was wounded but kept fighting “till carrying a musket was too heavy work for him.” The bad luck in this story is that when this man was working he sent all of his money to his wife. His wife became more and more miserly as she got more money. When he eventually died she decided to have him embalmed for only two or three dollars. When she was at the funeral, instead of mourning over the loss of her husband, she decided to complain about the seventy-five dollars that she spent on the embalming and never even mentioned Dan. Twain usually exploits this bad luck for material for jokes but he does not always use them for this reason. Sometimes he uses them to tell stories about life philosophies which is the point of “Dan Murphy.”
In “George Washington’s Negro Body-Servant” Twain also uses a comical approach. The story is about a servant of George Washington who turns up dead in newspapers at least six times by Twain’s account. The comical part about the story is that Twain seems to play along with the newspaper’s records and he writes as if he believes that the servant has died again. It is not until later in the story that Twain reflects on the articles and picks...

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