Book Review Life on the Mississippi

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Book Review
1/27/2011
History
A Pilots Life for Me: Life on the Mississippi
It has been said that Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi is not his best work. One thing the book does very well is shed light on the lives of steamboat pilots during the 1800’s. The book shows peoples economical life, and their social life. The way Mark Twain strings some of the stories together kind or makes the book feel unorganized, and not really connected. Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi has some structure issues, but does a good job showing peoples life back in the 1800’s. Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi is a book about the experiences Samuel Langhorne Clemens had with the Mississippi. The first couple of chapters start off by giving the history of the river. Such as who discovered it, and who saw it as an importance. After he gives us some background knowledge Twain begins the story of his life on the Mississippi. This story I felt is cut up into two parts, pre civil war times and post civil war times. The pre times are when he is a kid, and when he became a junior pilot for steamboats on the Mississippi. The second half is after the civil war when he returns to the Mississippi after a five year separation. The way Mark Twain writes this book is very interesting. It is not a straight forward bibliography. It is more like a book based on actual events. The book tells the story of Mark Twain’s life, but he makes up the name of characters and stories. Also Twain goes into a lot of side stories. Sometimes it can be chapter after chapter of side stories before he comes back to the main story of himself. The point that I think he was trying to get off was what the life was like for people along the Mississippi River during the 19th century. One thing the book does very well is show what the economy was like in the 19th century. In the book Twain describes why being a pilot on a steam boat was such a great job one of his examples is the pay. “The pilot, even in...
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