Mark Twain: Literary Analysis Essay

1358 Words May 14th, 2007 6 Pages
Mark Twain, one of the most famous and influential American writers, was born in Hannibal, Missouri on November 30, 1835 and died April 21, 1910. Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, he eventually adopted his famous pseudonym in 1863. Shortly after his father's death in 1847, when Clemens was twelve, his father passed away. After his father death, he applied for an apprenticeship at the local-printing shop. While working in the printing shop, Twain learned the skills required to be a printer and developed an aptitude for witty short essays and responses. Mark Twain was enthralled by his opportunity to develop his skills as a printer, and later he realized that he had a unique talent for writing. By working as an apprentice printer, he …show more content…
Many critics believe that this autobiographical approach is used mainly to reveal his own character through the travails and lessons that his characters learned. "Mark Twain often creates characters who have a sense of superiority, and if not apparent at the beginning of a novel, undoubtedly emerge at the end; becoming the superior character that Twain supposes himself to be" (Schmidt, "Criticism" 291). This narration style along with his technique of humor was a theme consistently used in his short stories.
Another similarity found in Twain's three short stories was his utilization of his southwestern humor. Twain's autobiographical approach served "as only one phase of the frankness of his humorous attitude" (Century Magazine).
"Simon Wheeler backed me into a corner and blockaded me there with his chair, and then sat down and reeled off the monotonous narrative which follows this paragraph… so far from his imagining that there was anything ridiculous or funny about his story, he regarded it as a really important matter, and admired its tow heroes as men of transcendent genius in finesse." (The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County). In "The Invalid's Story" Twain depicted a maniac's journey to Wisconsin while accompanying his friend's corpse. In the story, the maniac first confused his cadaver with a box of rifles, and then blamed the offensive stench which was present in the train car on his

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