Essay on The Thousand and One Nights in the Works of Twain

Essay on The Thousand and One Nights in the Works of Twain

Length: 1238 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Thousand and One Nights is the most important influence on the works of Mark Twain. The Thousand and One Nights or The Arabian Nights is a collection of 264 stories and tales that have become classics in world literature. In the early 18th century the collection was translated into French which made it available to the West(Bloom’s).
The major frame story in The Thousand and One Nights is the story of Scheherazade. She was the wife of King Shahriyar of India who after his first wife betrayed him started to marry a new wife everyday and have them beheaded the next morning. Scheherazade was able to prolong their marriage by telling the king a collection of stories for one-thousand and one nights. On the thousandth and one night he finally loses his desire to kill her.
Many of Scheherazade’s tales are familiar throughout the world including Aladdin and his magic lamp, Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, Abou Hassan the sleeper, Sinbad the sailor, and others. These tales are filled with witches, genies, flying carpets and winged horses, as well as beautiful princesses, dashing desert horsemen, camel caravans and heartless kings. Their magic, romance, exotic settings, and strange characters have long contributed to Western perceptions of the East as “mysterious”.
These stories are also very influential to the works of Mark Twain who made references to The Thousand and One Nights on many different occasions. This influence may be hard to assess but even more greater is that the tales influenced his own imagination. Tom Sawyer may be lacking clear allusions to The Thousand and One Nights, but their spirit can be found in the novel’s many flights of fancy. Around the mid 1860’s Twain was regularly dropping references of The Thousand a...


... middle of paper ...


...s points to a much more mature audience who could come to understand his allusions. This is why The Thousand and One Nights triumphs all of Twain’s other influences.


Bloom's Literary Reference Online." Facts On File Online Databases. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.
" Literary Reference Center - powered by EBSCOhost: The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments." EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2011.
Rasmussen, Kent. "The Thousand and One Nights in the works of Twain." Bloom's Literary Reference Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2011.
Sexton, Adam , and Hyeondo Park. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 1885. Reprint. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Publishing Inc., 2009. Print.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Hartford: American Pub. Co, 1885. Print.
Twain, Mark. The Innocents Abroad. Hartford: American Pub. Co, 1869. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Biography Of Mark Twain

- Samuel Clemens based his works on things that occurred throughout his personal life. He gained many interests and talents while on the Mississippi River that contributed to his writings. Samuel Clemens was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He was two months premature. AT the time of his birth, Haley's comet was in the sky. Four years after Clemens was born, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri. He grew up there on the Mississippi River. The river supported some of the happiest moments in his life....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1659 words (4.7 pages)

Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Shows Different Ways of Growing Up

- ... Huck realizes that he is done living with his father who is just drunk all of the time and has him locked in a cabin. This in itself is really unnerving to me. If you were to lock me in a cabin I am almost one hundred percent sure that I would not live. To fake his own murder he “took and ax and smashed in the door…fetched the pig in and took him back nearly to the table and hacked into his throat with the ax…I pulled out my hair and bloodied the ax good and slung it in the corner.” Huck then steps back and studies his work to make sure there could be no flaws in it; once he is satisfied he even begins to wish that Tom Sawyer could have been there to see his work....   [tags: tom sawyer, friends, skin color]

Strong Essays
706 words (2 pages)

Influence of Cultures on The Thousand and One Nights Essay

- Stories like Sindbad, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp and other popular stories are very common today in the western culture. Animated movies were also made for the entertainment of kids on these popular stories. One might wonder that where these stories originated and how it came down and made place in the western culture. Although these stories are very popular in both the western culture and the eastern culture but the original literary work is not so popular in common people. Theses stories are some of the stories from the Arabic work "The Thousand and One Nights." The work of "The Thousand and One Nights" represents basically a female that is a strong and clever idol and continuously imagin...   [tags: Thousand One Nights Arabic Culture]

Strong Essays
1440 words (4.1 pages)

Evils of Monarchy and Society in the Works of Mark Twain Essay

- The Evils of Monarchy and Society in the Works of Mark Twain       In the latter part of his life, Mark Twain developed a deep-rooted hatred for society.  His aphorisms often reflect this contempt: "Every one is a moon and has a dark side which he shows to no one" (Salwen n.pag.).  This disdain for humanity eventually seated itself in complete disapproval for what he called the "damned human race."  Twain's criticism for society appeared in many of his works, growing stronger and stronger as time passed.  Hand in hand with his distaste for society went his hatred for the upper class.  In each of his works, Twain creates a theme of appearance versus reality and ultimately brings out his...   [tags: Works of Mark Twain]

Strong Essays
2350 words (6.7 pages)

A Conversation Between Women of Agamemnon, The Decameron, and The Thousand and One Nights

- GRISELDA: Good afternoon Clytemnestra, Shahrazad; do you mind if I sit with you. SHAHRAZAD: Please join us Griselda; I am glad you could come to the party. I heard about the current events between you and your husband; I am glad that everything worked out in the end. CLYTEMNESTRA: Yes, please sit Griselda. How are you doing after everything that has happened. GRISELDA: I am doing well. I am sure you know that Gualtieri felt he had to test me to see if I was worthy of being his wife. I am just glad I was able to keep my word because I had sworn to him that I would “always try to please him and never be upset by anything he said or did” (1636)....   [tags: Agamemnon, The Decameron, Thousand and One Nights]

Free Essays
895 words (2.6 pages)

The Thousand And One Nights Essay

- The Thousand and One Nights depicts its characters in a thousand and one lights. From Aladdin to Ali Baba, there are many interesting characters among this classic of the Islamic Golden Age. But one character who stands out above the rest is the protagonist of the frame narrative, Scheherazade. While many of the females depicted in the stories that she tells are shown as sex-crazed backstabbers, Scheherazade is presented as virtuous, witty, moral, and intelligent. When the sultan of her land, Shahryar, is betrayed by his wife, he turns on the women of the country and begins to slaughter them....   [tags: Islam, Sharia, Women in Islam, Feminism]

Strong Essays
1170 words (3.3 pages)

Life and Works of Mark Twain Essay

- ... The Innocents Abroad was the first book by him. After the huge success and brilliant sale of these books, he wrote about 28 books, numerous short stories, sketches and letters. Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910, leaving behind his great collection of books and stories which are studied and taught even today in many schools and colleges of America and also many other countries of the world. Works of Mark Twain Some famous novels, written by Twain included, ”The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, ”The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, ”Extract from Captain Storm field’s Visit to Heaven”, “The Mysterious Stranger: A Romance”, amongst numerous others....   [tags: notorious American authors]

Strong Essays
1625 words (4.6 pages)

Gender and Power in The Arabian Nights Essay

- Gender and Power in The Arabian Nights Works Cited Not Included Contemplating the relationship between gender and power, one undoubtedly notices that tradition regards men as the holders of official office and power. Historically, men have also always been the leaders of their families, and turned to in times of trouble or need. Making generalizations is normally a weak approach to any task; in this case however, it is necessary to do so in order to illustrate how drastically opposite the situations prove in various selections from "1001 Arabian Nights." Rather than men taking critical roles of power, the women characters, especially at crucial moments in the plot, empower themselves far b...   [tags: The 1001 Arabian Nights]

Strong Essays
1571 words (4.5 pages)

Gilgamesh, The Thousand And One Nights, And The Ramayana Essay

- Have you ever wondered how we as a society and generation have come to know so much. We have so much knowledge not because of ourselves but by wisdom and knowledge passed down by generations. We learn very important values about life by the history of this world and by people. Values are considered a guiding principle or standard of conduct such as honesty or loyalty or responsibility for others welfare (Null). The values that have been passed down to us shape and make us into the people we are today....   [tags: Rama, Ramayana, Epic poetry, Epic of Gilgamesh]

Strong Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Boogie Nights

- Boogie Nights Boogie Nights is a film that aptly embodies the extravagant decadence of morals during the disco era, while also creating empathy for the debauched innocents who find themselves caught up in a lifestyle of hard-core sex, drugs and rock and roll. Sadly, while attempting to replace the loving family relationships they are lacking and in their search for self worth, these characters pay the highest price for fame. The film deftly takes the viewer to the seedy underside of the pornography business....   [tags: Boogie Nights Movies Films Essays]

Strong Essays
1288 words (3.7 pages)