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Samuel Langhorne Clemens: A Writer for Life

Powerful Essays
Samuel Langhorne Clemens once proclaimed, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” This quote shows the difficulty in finding the proper identity Clemens envisioned for himself. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, struggled with this identity crisis for the majority of his young-adult life. A ferry-boat pilot, a soldier, a miner, and a journalist are just a few of the manifold career paths Clemens unsuccessful pursued in pursuit of his true identity. Fortunately, he eventually became a writer and penned some of the world's greatest literature. One of these great works, The Prince and the Pauper, is remembered for its unique style, which is an infusion of Clemens' life experiences and historical research, presented in a children's novel. Samuel Langhorne Clemens was inspired to write The Prince and the Pauper by his childhood in the town of Hannibal, Missouri, his loss of his father, and his adventures across America during the Civil War era.
To begin a discussion on the infusion of life experiences into a novel, it is most important to start from the beginning, childhood. Samuel Langhorne Clemens grew up in the poor, dusty town of Hannibal, Missouri. At the age of twelve, Clemens suffered the loss of his father, which plunged his family into poverty (“The Prince” 173). While at an impressionable age, Clemens experienced the poverty of others and of his own family. This leads to his sympathy towards the poor and impoverished. Also, growing up in rural America led to his appreciation of the vernacular and a distaste of the haughty, esoteric style of European literature. According to Leon T. Dickinson in Modern Language Notes, Clemens sought to use a theory o...

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Twain, Mark. The Prince and the Pauper. Public Domain, 1911. EPUB file.
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