Mark Twain

Mark Twain was a pilot, a comic lecturer, a humorist, a

short story writer, and a novelist, to name a few of his

many accomplishments. On November 30, 1835, Samuel

Langhorne Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain,

became the first man of any importance ever to be born

west of the Mississippi River. He has become an icon as

the American writer. This is because his way of writing

cannot be simulated by Europeans or anyone else, due to

the fact that the western setting of America creates a whole

new atmosphere and style of writing. Mark Twain is a

classic American writer that acquired fame by using satire,

writing with single-minded use of words, and by writing the

way that most people think and speak. Twain writes with

single-minded use of words, which is understood to be

plain and simple, yet still intelligent, which enhances

American literature. He writes what comes into his mind

without fear. This is an example from Huckleberry Finn: ...

"then comes a h-wack! bum! bum!

bumble-umble-um-bum-bum-bum-bum - and the thunder

would go rumbling and grumbling away" ... (Twain 45).

This enriches American literature, because it is a clever

way, and the only way to make the reader actually seem to

hear and feel the sounds the writer is trying to convey. This

is an example from Tom Sawyer : "Set her back on the

stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! chow! ch-chow-wow! chow!".

(Twain 15). This dialect can be explained as a familiar

speech spoken around us all the time. It is the speech of the

illiterate, the preliterate, the children, and the poor people

(Bloom 46). This is actually a very intelligent style of

writing, for it is difficult for an author to write in a different

level of dialect than they actually speak. The reader can tell

that this dialect isn’t Twain’s own, since he doesn’t write

with it in every part of the book. Huckleberry Finn is

supposed to be written from Huck’s point of view. The

story is written as he would speak it, so mistakes inevitably

appear. However, this single- minded dialect was worked,

composed, and written by Twain. It was not done

haphazardly (Bloom 46). American literature would not be

the same if not for Twain’s ideas for ways of writing in a

way that spectacularly conveys the feelings of touch, sound,

and sight by the use of single-minded words. Another way

that Mark Twain enriche...

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...inded words captures the

reader’s attention, making them feel almost as if they are in

the book themselves. His masterful use of the vernacular

portrays the speech of early rural America. Twain’s use of

the vernacular lets the reader read more smoothly since

they do not have to pay attention to the structural

significance of the word. Since Mark Twain was the first

truly great western author to define American writing, he

has opened the way for many future authors to come.

Works Cited Bloom, Harold. Interpretations of Mark

Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. NewYork:

Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. Clemens, Samuel L. The

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. NewYork: Dodd, Mead

& Company, 1953. Clemens, Samuel L. The Adventures

of Tom Sawyer. NewYork: Dodd, Mead & Company,



+ "1647-1".ID. Kesterson, David B. ed. Critics on Mark

Twain. Florida: University of Miami Press, 1973.

Rasmussen, Kent R. Mark Twain A to Z. NewYork: Facts

on File, Inc., 1995. Stapleton, Michael, comp. The

Cambridge Guide to English Literature. NewYork:

Cambridge University Press, 1983.

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