Mark Twain, the pen name created by Samuel Langhorn Clemens, once stated that “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightening and the lightening bug” (Smith). This quote fits Twain superbly because he is considered to be the first purely American writer to exist, using humorous lines and local language. Unfortunately, he spent a large portion of his life, which lasted from November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910, during the civil rights movement. The time period was filled to the brim with racial violence and slavery. In fact, one of twain’s most vivid childhood memories was of a group of slaves, chained together, awaited their turn to be sent down river to the slave market. He commented that “They had the saddest faces I ever saw” (Burns). Mark Twain’s childhood location, the strong racial violence, and the many hardships in which he underwent became the setting for many of his most famous works.
When Mark Twain was 4 years old he moved to Hannibal, which was on the banks of the Mississippi, where steamboats frequently stopped to unload and load cargo. Twain fell in love with the constant sight of the Mississippi River and, as a child, wanted nothing more than to become a riverboat pilot (The Official Web Site of Mark Twain). The Mississippi River became the setting for many of his future stories and although he never became a riverboat pilot, the piloting occupation snuck its way into of his famous works “Life on the Mississippi.” Later, when he was thirteen he left school for a temporary job as a printer’s apprentice. He worked in that position until age 15, when he became a printer and editorial’s assistant at his brother’s newspaper. Whenever h...
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...an, and Kate Kinsella. Prentice Hall Literature the American Experience. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2007.
"Hannibal.net | The Hannibal Courier-Post." Hannibal.net | The Hannibal Courier-Post. Web. 11 May 2014.
Smith, Henry Nash. Mark Twain; a Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963.
The Big Read. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts, 2008.
"The Official Web Site of Mark Twain." The Official Web Site of Mark Twain. Web. 06 May 2014.
Zaid, Rhana E. "The Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County." Salem Press, Jan. 2004. Web. 12 May 2014.
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