Mark Twain's Works After "Tom Sawyer"

Mark Twain's Works After "Tom Sawyer"

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After Tom Sawyer, from the middle of 1870s to 1880s,Mark Twain wrote a lot of works which later became his masterpieces. I should say that this period is a climax of Mark Twain's writing life. For example, the famous novel "the prince and pauper" which focus on the cruel law working for the ruler; "life on Mississippi" which praised working people emotionally and expressed his yearning for free life and the most important novel, his master work "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" are all produced in this period.

Actually, these are closely related to the society situation at that time. From that time, class struggle became more and more intense. Worker's strike blossomed here and there. But most of them were suppressed cruelly. ///Many workers were sentenced to death with fabricate crimes. / Mark Twain, as a thinker and soldier[[?justice fighter]], of course would write sth to reveal it.

Here, I have to say sth about "Hucklebreey Finn''. This was a milestone in Twain's writing life. Huck Finn, which painted a picture of Mississippi frontier life, was intended as a sequel to Tom Sawyer. During the adventure, the white child Huck and black man Jin built up a deep friendship. At first, Huck also debated whether or not turn in Jim, an escaped slave and a friend. But as time went by, he was more and more clear that he want to protect him and became a soldier. Huck's distaste for civilization reflects the idea of Walden,and his debate probes the racial tensions of the national conscience. In this novel, Mark Twain highly paised the black Jin's noble character and the friendship between white and black. Of course he also criticized the slavery in America and expressed his love toward freedom. what more should be mentioned is that: in this novel, Twain used oral and contemporary language to bring his characters to life. This realistic prose style influenced numerous American writers and created American own literature style. So Ernest Hemingway wrote: All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called "Huckleberry Finn."

There is another novel which is also focus on the slavery named "pudd'nhead Wilson." I'd like to talk about this in detail. It is a vivid picture of the south of slavery days, and is full of the quaint paradoxes which we always look for in Twain's work. "pudd'nhead Wilson" is another name for fool; it is applied hastily to Mr David Wilson, a lawyer and surveyor, who in his leisure hours amuses himself with making "records" of the tips of his acquaintances.

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The subversive schemer is a young slave mother named Roxana, who is thrown into panic one day by her master's casual threat to sell some slaves downriver. Afraid of that her child would be sold in the future, she switched the infants, who look so much alike that no one suspects the exchange because she was only 1/16 black and her baby 1/32. then the black child taking the white's name Tom became a treacherous, cowardly thief, the white child, assuming the black name chambers, was gentle, loyal, honest and brave. Tom's path of petty crime leads eventually to murder, and his victim was his uncle who loved him very much. A pair of foreign twins were wrongly accused of the crime and were convicted to death when Wilson finally uncovered the real murder by the finger tips. At last, tom was published to be sold downriver instead of death because he was a slave.

During this process, we can see Twain's anger towards slave system. Actually there's no difference between the two baby except a drop of African blood. It is funny that even Tom's father can only recognized him by the clothes. But that was enough. Chambers was a slave, for sure.

[Although the black finally commit a crime, it is not because of the racial difference but because of the slave system. If the babies are not exchanged, the crime will belong to the real Tom, too. when Roxana first determined to kill herself and the children rather than lose it to the slave market, we can see the ugliness of slavery. In wilson's calender, he wrote "Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond, cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a coolege education. This implies that people become different during their education and environment but not because of the racial difference. besides criticism on slavery, this novel also reveals that money is another root of selfish. Because of money, Tom sold his own mother to be a slave and even murder his uncle. But he even never really felt sorry about that.

Besides slavery, Mark Twain also criticized other ugly phenomenon in American society. In the middle of 1880s, America become an capatilast's heaven but working people's hell. People thought money as the most important thing in their life and communions helped the ruler fool the common people to obey the rules and their fates. Struggling with this, Mark Twain wrote "A Connecticut Yankee in king Arthur's court", "the Mysterious Stranger", "the Man who corrupted Hadlegburg" and many other letters and speeches. In these works, Twain revealed the hypocritical communions, despised money worship and supported working people's struggle.

In the late 1890s, America became an imperialist state and began to invade other countries. Mark Twain also expressed his anger and opposition towards this. He was a leader of an organization which opposed the invading behavior and made many speeches to encourage people's struggle to this including Chinese .

Over the years Twain had invested a great deal of money in unsuccessful printing and publishing ventures, and in 1893 he found himself depply in debt. So he traveled around the world, making speeches and recording his experiences in "Following the Equator."As Twain's life and carre progressed he became increasingly pessimistic. He worked for the real democracy and liberation in his whole life. He wanted to build a new kind of civilization and ideal society but finally found his dream never come ture . So later more and more of his work expressed the gloomy view that all human motives are ultimately selfish. He abandoned the optimistic tone of "the Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, and wrote such somber works as "the Man who corrupted Hadleyburg" "What is Man" "the Mysterious Stranger" and "Letters from the Earth."

Even so Twain is best remembered as a hgumoriost who used his sharp wit and comic exaggeration to attack the false pride and self¯importance he saw in humanity. He is a great man. He is the man of the whole world.
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