Mark Twain: Literary Analysis

Topics: Mark Twain, First-person narrative, Short story Pages: 4 (1347 words) Published: May 3, 2007
Mark Twain, one of the most famous and influential American writers, was born in Hannibal, Missouri on November 30, 1835 and died April 21, 1910. Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, he eventually adopted his famous pseudonym in 1863. Shortly after his father's death in 1847, when Clemens was twelve, his father passed away. After his father death, he applied for an apprenticeship at the local-printing shop. While working in the printing shop, Twain learned the skills required to be a printer and developed an aptitude for witty short essays and responses. Mark Twain was enthralled by his opportunity to develop his skills as a printer, and later he realized that he had a unique talent for writing. By working as an apprentice printer, he helped pay for family expenses and by age sixteen he began writing humorous articles and newspaper sketches, which could have been is his reason for becoming an author.

A common theme which was present in all of Mark Twain's short stories that were read was his satirical style of writing. He commonly used satire in stories to evoke a response in readers – his form was mainly used to compel the reader to pause and reflect on his literature. In the three short stories that were read; "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg", and "The Invalid's Story", Mark Twain wrote in a funny and sarcastic style that would entertain any reader. Sometimes, his choice of words and the way he foretold certain events and even the layout of his short stories was even ironic. In "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg" Twain used the natural integrity and virtue of the human soul to wreck havoc and turmoil on a town. This story was very ironic because it began by describing the honorable and noble history of Hadleyburg and the great amount of ethical morals held by all people in the town. At the end of the story, every man in town is vying for a bag of gold that has been left by some mysterious visitor, and...
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