English 2 L1
15 September 2012
The Adventures of Mark Twain
History. Most people would want to be remembered throughout history; they want to make a name for themselves. Well Mark Twain certainly made a “name” for himself. Seriously, Mark Twain was only a pen name, but his real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Mark Twain was not always a writer. Before he found his calling, he was a typesetter, contributed articles to newspapers; riverboat pilot, gold miner, and then he became a journalist. He soon had realize that he had a talent in writing. Although Twain was famous, he was never wealthy. Twain would always spend the money he made on funding adventures, which was never a waste of money. From this he was always bankrupt but he eventually overcame this because of his good friend Henry Huttleston Rogers.
Clemens hometown, Hannibal, inspired him to write many of his masterpieces. He also used past memories and experiences to create his world and characters in his stories to give it a life like feeling and to make sure it does not sound fake. Furthermore, Clemens’s dad died at a young age, so Clemens had to work in order to buy food and other supplies. Determined to become intelligent he though, “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards” (Mark Twain). With the money he made; he kept going to school for education. Then at age 24 he joined the Confederate Army, but his volunteer unit was disbanded. Soon after that Clemens traveled all the way to the west and started to search for large silver and gold deposits, but he never panned any gold, and became broke. The only way he could make money was to go back into the newspaper industry. Consequently he became one of the best writers in the west. “Twain honed a distinctive narrative style—friendly, funny, irreverent, often satirical and always eager to deflate the pretentious” ("Mark Twain Biography").
Mark Twain wrote many books, but his most famous books are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As I said before Mark uses his past experiences to create the stories and characters. For instance in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, he bases the main characters off of two childhood classmates, John Briggs and Will Bowen. Twain will also often use settings of Hannibal, speaking habits, and attitudes of the south. His masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was thought to be “condemned in some quarters as inappropriate material for young readers, but it sold well, and it soon became prized for its re-creation of the Antebellum South, its insights into slavery, its depiction of adolescent life, and, throughout, its irreverence and compassion. H. L. Mencken, writing in the Smart Set in 1913, hailed The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as "one of the great masterpieces of the world," and Ernest Hemingway, in his book The Green Hills of Africa, championed Twain's novel as the most important work in American literature”( "The Official Web Site of Mark Twain").
Throughout Twain's life he met challenges and overcame them. He fought them straight on. He is also honored by many people. Several elementary and middle schools are named after Mark Twain. There is also a Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Twain should be happy for what he did; he has inspired many writer and students into literature. Even though writing was not his dream occupation, I hope he enjoyed it.
"Mark Twain." - Biography and Works. Search Texts, Read Online. Discuss. N.p., n.d. Web. 18
"Mark Twain Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2012.
"The Official Web Site of Mark Twain." The Official Web Site of Mark Twain. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2012.