Mark Twain

Mark Twain

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Just as Huckleberry Finn found peril along the waters of the great Mississippi River, contemporary students often find themselves treading their own 'deep waters' trying to understand and interpret the works of author Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain. But what Huck Finn never had, today's literature students do: the answer to any dilemma of interpretation...a website entitled Mark-Twain-Essays.Com.
Tired of crawling through web pages with scant information and little to go on? THIS site contains not one.... not ten... but dozens upon dozens of essays reviewing, analyzing, & critiquing the works of Mark Twain! Whether you're reading The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer for the first time or performing a comparison and contrast between Pudd'nhead Head Wilson and Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's' Court.Biography: Twain was born in Florida, Missouri in 1835, moving to the city of Hannibal (in the same state) when he was four. His formal schooling ended at the age of twelve, when he became apprenticed to a printer. His natural flair for words took him from printing into journalism, and his wanderlust took him from journalism into the life of a Mississippi riverboat pilot (Ousby 946).


Reflecting his own life: Twain depicts much of his early life in the book Life on the Mississippi. As Albert Bigelow Paine writes, "In Life on the Mississippi we have [Twain’s] story of how he met Horace Bixby and decided to become a pilot instead of a South American adventurer -- jauntily setting himself the stupendous task of learning the twelve hundred miles of the Mississippi River between St. Louis and New Orleans -- of knowing it as exactly and as unfailingly, even in the dark, as one knows the way to his own features. It seems incredible to those who knew Mark Twain in his later years -- dreamy, unpractical, and indifferent to details -- that he could have acquired so vast a store of minute facts as were required by that task.

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Yet within eighteen months he had become not only a pilot, but one of the best and most careful pilots on the river, entrusted with some of the largest and most valuable steamers. He continued in that profession for two and a half years longer, and during that time met with no disaster that cost his owners a single dollar for damage" (Paine bio1.htm).

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