top-rated free essay

Mark Twain

Oct 08, 1999 589 Words
Mark Twain

Mark Twain's works are some of the best I've ever read. I love the way he brings you into the story, especially with the dialogue used, like in Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain is my favorite dead author. Mark Twain was never "Mark Twain" at all. That was only his pen name. His real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Samuel was born in Florida, Missouri in 1835. He accomplished worldwide fame during his lifetime for being a great author, lecturer, satirist, and humorist. Since his death on April 21, 1910, his great literary reputation has further increased. Many writers such as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner have declared his work-especially Huckleberry Finn- a major influence on 20th-century American fiction.

Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, a town on the Mississippi river. After the death of his father in 1847, Twain joined his brother Orion's newspaper, the Hannibal Journal. During this time he became accustomed with much of the frontier humor of the time.

From 1853 to 1857, Twain worked in many cities as a printer, and wrote articles for his brother's newspapers under various nicknames. After a visit to New Orleans, he learned how to pilot a steamboat. That became his job until the Civil War closed the Mississippi River, and

it set him up for "Old Times on the Mississippi" and "Life on the Mississippi." In 1861, Twain traveled to Carson City, Nevada, with his brother Orion. After attempts for silver and gold mining had failed, he continued to write for newspapers. It was in 1863 when Samuel Clemens adopted the name "Mark Twain", a riverman's term for "two fathoms" deep.

In 1884 Twain went to San Francisco and reached national fame with his story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." He then took a trip to Hawaii which started him on a very successful career as a public speaker. His trips to the Mediterranean and the Holy Land were recorded in letters to a San Francisco newspaper, and later formed into The Innocents Abroad, which was popular all over the world.

In 1870 Mark Twain married Olivia Langdon. He then abandoned journalism to focus on serious literature. From 1870-1875, Twain produced many novels, including the famous tale, Tom Sawyer.
A European vacation in 1878-1879, inspired novels like The Prince and the Pauper and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Meanwhile, he established his own firm, Charles L. Webster and Co., and after that, completed his masterpiece, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in 1884.

In 1891, Twain was forced to move to Europe because of financial problems. In 1894, because of the failure of his firm and other reasons, he had to declare bankruptcy. During this time he produced many works, but they were not some of his best. To help his situation, he commenced a world lecture tour. Even though his financial situation rapidly improved, much stress and sorrow came to Twain following the death of first his daughter, in 1896, then his wife in 1904. His writings in the late 1890's and 1900's became increasingly gloomy. One of his accomplishments during these years is "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg", a pessimisstic examination of human nature. After these bleak years Twain died in 1910. Yet his reputation as a writer did not die along with him. Instead it rose as people began to look at his works differently. Mark Twain has become an embedded part of America's history.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Mark Twain/ Huck Finn

    ...In Mark Twains' books he relates himself to a characters by giving them some of his personal life and history. In the book The Adventures of Huck Finn, Mark Twain relates the most to the main character of Huck Finn. Mark Twain and the character Huck Finn have similarities in their lives, such as, Twain placing Huck on the river he grew up on, h...

    Read More
  • Mark Twain

    ...Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also know as Mark Twain, was born in 1835 and died in 1910 (Student Handbook 379). He is best known as an American humorist and for his realistic view of America in the nineteenth century through his novels and other stories. He had the whole world captivated through his expert writing and lectures. "I never let my scho...

    Read More
  • Mark Twain

    ...Christened as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835 in the small river town of Florida, Missouri, just 200 miles from Indian Territory. The sixth child of John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton, Twain lived in Florida, Missouri until the age of four, at which time his family relocated to Hannibal in hopes of improvin...

    Read More
  • Mark Twain

    ... American Author and humorist. Samuel Langhorne Clemens better known for his pen name “Mark Twain” was an excellent writer. With the support of his family, friends, and wife he was able to write many inspirational books. Twain grew up in Hanninbal Missouri. Born in Florida. Son of Jane, a native of Kentucky and John Marshall Clemens...

    Read More
  • Mark Twain

    ...Mark Twain and the Orientalist Effect An important character in American history is Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He is recognized more commonly by his pen name Mark Twain. Twain was an influential writer in the eighteen and early nineteen hundreds. He is known for his novels, letters, plays, short stories, and drawings, but m...

    Read More
  • MArk TWain

    ...Noah Clinton Writing and Lit. Studies Dr. Sobiech 11-18-14 The Adventures of...Racism? There are many different opinions about the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, some are positive, others aren’t. It seems as if one of the main controversies is whether or not the novel should be taught in schools due to conflicting...

    Read More
  • Mark Twain Short Stories

    ...Summer Reading Short Stories –Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name of Mark Twain, is a widely renowned author whom, throughout his life, wrote countless short stories and essays criticizing politics, media, and other government and social areas. Twain was an avid supporter of civil rights and was extremely critic...

    Read More
  • Critical History of Mark Twain

    ...English 101 Critical History Paper Twain started out writing light humorous stories, then added rich humor, strong narratives, and social criticism, but he evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, war, tranvestism, Satan, hypocrisies, political, ethics, and stupidity and murderous acts of mankind. Twain had been known to use his real lif...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.