Mark Twain Research Essay

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Pages: 6 (2274 words) Published: May 29, 2013
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, born in Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835, came into this world as just another person and died as one of America’s greatest novelists. Better known as Mark Twain, this skilled writer created a name for himself during the 1800’s. In two of his most well-known novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Huckleberry Finn, Twain used many rhetorical strategies throughout his writing to help capture the reader and sell his stories. Twain’s novels are full of satire, dialect, and humor. Mark Twain’s own personal life heavily influenced his writings. Although the books are comparable in many ways, they vary vastly.

Mark Twain grew up on the Mississippi River with his parents and he was one of five children. When Mark was four years old his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri. Due to his father’s death when Mark was 12, his mother was left to raise the children on her own which caused the kids to start work at a young age. Mark’s first job was being an apprentice to a printer in his hometown. Twain then became a steam pilot on his most beloved place- the river. Mark trained with a Confederate militia for two weeks until they disbanded. He began travelling around the country reporting for newspapers, and slowly his novels began forming and becoming more and more popular. He then got married to Olivia Langdon on February 2, 1870. He and his wife had four children, only one of them lived to be married and have kids. Mark suffered from a short-term illness and died shortly after on April 21, 1910 at the age of seventy-four.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Huckleberry Finn, go hand in hand when it comes to being two of America’s greatest novels. The beginning of Huckleberry Finn starts directly with the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published in 1876, and Huckleberry Finn was published in January of 1884. Mark Twain used countless rhetorical strategies throughout his novels. He is most commonly known for his humor, sarcasm, and satire.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a story about a troublemaking boy growing up in the town of St. Petersburg, Missouri right along the Mississippi River. Tom lived with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid. From the very beginning of the book, Tom Sawyer gets in trouble for skipping school and dirtying his clothes in a fight. Aunt Polly forces Tom to whitewash the fence, and as he does this he tricks his friends into giving him small treasures to do the work.

Tom was a leader of his friends. He fell in love with the new girl, Becky Thatcher. He also became friends with Huck Finn, the son of the town drunkard. Tom and Huck went on an adventure to a cemetery one night and witness Injun Joe murdering Dr. Robinson. Scared, Tom and Huck agreed to never tell a soul about what they saw. Injun Joe wrongfully blamed Muff Potter for the crime and Tom began to feel very guilty that he knew the truth. Tom, Huck, and one of their friends, Joe Harper, decided to run away to an island to become pirates. The whole town of St. Petersburg began to worry and search the river for the missing bodies. Tom conjured up the great idea to make an appearance at their funerals.

Enough guilt came over Tom that he decided to testify in the murder trial against Injun Joe. Potter was found not guilty, and Joe escaped through the courtroom window. Tom began to shadow Injun Joe every night during the summer once Tom finds out that Joe plans to attack the Widow Douglas, a well-respected citizen of St. Petersburg. One night when Tom and Huck were sneaking around a haunted house, they discovered Injun Joe had a stash of gold. With their classmates, Tom and Becky go on an adventure to McDougal’s cave with their classmates. The two get lost in the cave, and people begin to search for them the next morning. Ironically, Injun Joe was using the same cave as a hideout. Tom and Becky eventually make their way to safety and Becky’s father, Judge...
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