Historical Approach Paper
Event: The popularity and fame of Mark Twain
Place: United States
Whether it’s Superman for Clark Kent, or Jackie Chan for Chan Kong-Sang, Americans have always had a fascination for pseudonyms. However, there is one alias that supersedes all others and continues to influence readers around the world even a century later. Born Samuel L. Clemens in 1835, Mark Twain is widely considered the first truly American author. Even more fascinating that the fact that Twain “published more than thirty books and pamphlets, and easily three or four thousand newspaper and magazine articles” (Mark Twain Project Online) is the fact that his works remain prominent even today. The legacy and popularity left behind by this remarkable author remains unmatched by almost any other person in the history of literature. Many of his books, such as Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Author’s Court have weathered the storms of the seemingly endless social revolutions of the 20th century and continue to be read by thousands of kids across America in schools. Through his good sense of humor and captivating vocabulary, Mark Twain undoubtedly changed American Literature for the better and remains, rightfully, an exalted pseudonym even today.
1. Mark Twain: humorous, compassionate, talented, reputable 2. Orion Clemmons: Dedicated, multi-talented, unfortunate, considerate 3. Olivia Langdon Clemens: supportive, religious, intelligent, sophisticated Discussion questions:
1. Mark Twain uses many of his books as a form of satire meant to encourage governmental and social reform. Why would he choose to do so primarily in children’s books? 2. Across the country, schools continually choose to teach novels written by Mark Twain. What are some potential benefits of young kids read such books? 3. Why is Mark Twain widely considered the ‘first truly American...