Name: Andrea Grade: A Time: 18: 02 Date: Oct 16, 1998 Description Mark Twain The Paper: Samuel Langhorne Clemens or commonly known as Mark Twain was American writer and humorist. Twain's writing is also known for realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of bad faith and oppression. Clemens was born in Florida and then later on moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a Mississippi river port, when he was four years old. There he received a public school education. After his father died in 1847, Clemens was assisted to two Hannibal printers, and in 1851 he began contributing sketches to his brother Orion's Hannibal Journal.
Before long he was a master printer in Keokuk, Iowa; New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and other cities. Later, Clemens was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River until the American Civil War brought an end to travel on the river. In 1861 Clemens served briefly as a volunteer soldier in an irregular company of Confederate cavalry. Later that year he accompanied his brother to the newly created Nevada Territory, where he tried silver and gold mining. In 1862 he became a reporter on the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, and in 1863 he began signing his articles with the assumed name "Mark Twain," a Mississippi River phrase meaning "two fathoms" deep-safe water for a steamboat. After moving to San Francisco in 1864, Twain met the American writers Artem us Ward and Bret Harte, who encouraged him in his work.
In 1865 Twain modified a tale he had heard in the California gold fields; within months the author and the story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," had become national sensations. In 1867 Twain give a piece of his mind in New York City, and in the same year he visited Europe and the Holy Land. He wrote of these travels in The Innocents Abroad (1869), a book burlesquing those aspects of Old World culture that impress American tourists. In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon. After living briefly in Buffalo, New York, they moved to Hartford, Connecticut.
Much of Twain's best work was written in the 1870 s and 1880 s in Hartford or during the summers at Quarry Farm, near Elmira, New York. Roughing It (1872) recounts his early adventures as a miner and journalist; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) celebrates boyhood in a town on the Mississippi River; A Tramp Abroad (1880) describes a walking trip through the Black Forest of Germany and the Swiss Alps; The Prince and the Pauper (1882), a children's book, focuses on switched identities in Tudor England; Life on the Mississippi (1883) combines an autobiographical account of his experiences as a river pilot with a visit to the Mississippi nearly two decades after he left it; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) mocks oppression in feudal England. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the sequel to Tom Sawyer, is considered Twain's masterpiece. Huckleberry Finn, which is almost entirely narrated from Huck's point of view, is noted for its authentic language and for its deep commitment to freedom. Twain's skill in capturing the rhythms of that life help make the book one of the masterpieces of American literature. In 1884 Twain formed the firm Charles L.
Webster and Company to publish his works and other writers' books, notably Personal Memoirs (2 volumes, 1885-1886) by the American general and president Ulysses S. Grant. A disastrous investment in an automatic typesetting machine led to the firm's bankruptcy in 1894. Twain is successful worldwide lecture tour and the book based on those travels, Following the Equator (1897), paid off his debts. Stress and sorrow came with the deaths of Twain's daughter Susy in 1896 and of his wife in 1904.
His writings of the late 1890 s and 1900 s became more pessimistic than ever. Significant works of this period are Pudd " n head Wilson (1894), a novel about miscegenation and murder, and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), a sentimental biography. Some of Twain's later writings include short stories, of which the best known are "The Man That Corrupted Hadley burg" (1899) and "The War Prayer" (1905); political, social and philosophical essays; "The Mysterious Stranger" manuscript, an uncompleted piece that was posthumously published in 1916; and autobiographical dictation's. Twain's work was inspired by the wild West. The popularity of his work marked the beginning of a great American writer and the end of the domination by New England writers of American literature. Twain was know as a humorist by writers of his time and recognized by generation of writers, as a creator of true American literature.
He wrote about American subjects in a humorous and casual, yet poetic language. His success in creating a plain evocative language precipitated the end of American reverence for British and European culture and for the more formal language associated with these cultures. His adherence to American themes, settings, and language set him apart from many other novelists of the day and had a powerful effect on such later American writers as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, both who pointed to Twain as an inspiration for their own writing. In Twain's later years he wrote less, but he become a celebrity, frequently speaking out on public issues; he come to be known for the white linen suit he always wore when making public appearances. Twain received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University in 1907.
When he died he left an uncompleted autobiography, which was eventually edited by his secretary, Albert Bigelow Paine, and was published in 1924.