The Life and Work of Mark Twain

Pages: 9 (4422 words) Published: May 6, 2013
The Life Story and Work of Mark Twain
People do not always like to read nonfiction books or novels because they are too long and sometimes they will feel like the story will never end. The shorter and more understandable the stories are, the easier to read. Samuel Clemens, or better known as, Mark Twain, was interested in reading and writing since his young childhood and then he grew up to be one of the most well-known writers. Two of his known stories are, “The Laborious Ant” and “The Ghost Story.” These stories would seem like that they would be nothing alike, but they actually have a few similarities. Even though, as a young child, Twain moved around the country a lot, he always found a way to listen to stories and novels. Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. When Twain was four, in the year of 1839, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri. He “spent many boyhood summers playing in the slave quarters‚ listening to tall tales and the slave spirituals that he would enjoy throughout his life”. When Twain was eleven years old, in the year of 1847, his father passed away. Soon afterwards, he had to finish the fifth grade and leave school to work for a local newspaper as a printer's apprentice. Twain's job was to go through the newspaper’s stories and then sort the type for each. When Twain was eighteen years old, he went east to Philadelphia and New York City, where he found some success at writing articles and worked on several different newspapers. In the year of 1857, Twain returned home to enter on a different career as a pilot on a riverboat, in the Mississippi River. In 1861, the Civil War began, Twain's pilot career came to a stop, along with all the traffic on the river. He then decided to join the Marion Rangers, which was a volunteer confederate unit, but after two weeks, he quit. In July of 1861, Twain was heading west to find a new job, when his brother, Orion, had just been appointed Secretary of the Nevada Territory. Twain traveled from Missouri to Nevada across the open frontier, by stagecoach. When on the journey, he came across, for the first time, Native American tribes. Twain also came across a mixture of unique mishaps, disappointments and characters. Mark Twain had a very big writing career, but here are some of the more important points from it. In the year of 1864, Twain wanted a change, so he started out for San Francisco, where he could carry on writing for local newspapers. In the year of 1865, Twain's first "big break" came with the publication of one of his short stories, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" in papers across the country. Twain's travel letters, with tongue-in-cheek observations and full of vivid descriptions, met with an audience approval that they were later reworked into his first book, “The Innocents Abroad” in 1869. After not becoming successful as a silver prospector, Twain starting working as a writer for the Territorial Enterprise. This job was in Virginia City, Nevada. This is where for the first time, he used his pen name, Mark Twain. Twain also wrote a satiric novel with his friend Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) called, "The Gilded Age". The next year, Twain was hired by the Union of Sacramento to visit and report on Hawaii (which were the Sandwich Islands). Twain's writings started to become so popular that when he returned from Hawaii, he entered his first lecture tour. This tour started Twain as a successful performer on stage. Twain was then hired by Alts California to carry on his travel writing from the east. In 1867, he then arrived in New York City. Twain then quickly signed up for a tour on a steamship of the Holy Land and Europe. On this trip, Twain met his future brother-in-law. One of the short stories that Twain had written was a western travelogue called, "Roughing It" (1872). Twain wrote the novel, "A Tramp Aboard" in 1880, further impressions of Europe gathered during the years of 1878-1879 on his tour of the Continent. In...

Cited: "Mark Twain." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2010. N. pag. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Oct. 2012. <>.
The Mark Twain House & Museum. The Mark Twain House & Museum, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <>. The Mark Twain House and Museum is the organization.
The Official Website of Mark Twain. Estate of Mark Twain, 5 July 2006. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <>. The publisher of the official Mark Twain website is the estate of Mark Twain.
The website was updated on July 5, 2006.
Twain, Mark. "A Ghost Story." 1903. The Complete Humerous Sketches and Tales of Mark Twain. Ed. Charles Neider. 1996 ed. New York: Da Capo, 1985. Drug Library. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <>.
- - -. "The Laborious Ant." 1985. The Complete Humorous Sketches and Tales of Mark Twain. Ed. Charles Neider. 1196th ed. New York: Da Capo, 1985. 466-69. Print.
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