Two Views of the Mississippi

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Two Views of the Mississippi” described a river from two different perspectives. The comparisons, however, were not of the river; but from the eyes of a passenger uneducated in the nature of steam boating. While the passenger saw the river’s pure, natural beauty, the experienced pilot saw that the beauty as a way of learning.

At Twain’s first innocent view of the river he saw the grace of radiating lines, slanting marks and tumbling, rings on the sparkling red and gold water. As the story continued, however, he saw that he lost the beauty and grace he once saw in the river and the natural beauty stood as a caution that there was a dangerous change in the channel and heavy wind for the upcoming day. A once conspicuous, floating log; served now, only as a statement that the river was rising as his experience grew. Twain used a common ground to connect with us by using the view of a peaceful silver shadow breaking ground of the nearby forest. The break to him however, meant that he had chosen a good place for his steamboat to fish. Lastly, what was once an old dead tree was now used by the experienced steam boat pilot as a landmark for making his way through the Mississippi River at night.

Mark Twains, “Two Views of the Mississippi” describes the river from two different perspectives due to his experience of being a steamboat pilot. His innocence of being a simple passenger was striped of him by his learning experiences. Things which once held beauty now cautioned him of the dangers of the river and served as landmarks to lead him through the river.
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