Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on November 30, 1835. Clemons grew up in a town called Hannibal, Missouri. Here Sam Clemens saw an array of different type of people pass through his town. People such as: gamblers, entertainers, thieves, and even slave traders that influenced his childhood memories. We see traces of his rugged hometown deeply embedded with southern tradition. Clemens was known as a mischievous boy that smoked, led of crew of pranksters, and often played hooky from school. At the age of twelve Clemens dropped out of school after the death of his father. He later took a job as a printer where he was introduced to writing. Clemens constructed poems, reports, and humored sketches. Although young Samuel did not possess an education, he obtained knowledge from living life and experiencing the hustle and bustle of a river town. Clemens later went on to become a riverboat pilot perpetuated by displaying his yearning for travel. While on the river Samuel’s pen name became the name we all know today, Mark Twain. A term that riverboat engineers used to describe the depth of the waters the boat traveled. Twain’s humoristic writing style was influenced by his days as an editor of a local newspaper. A news paper that was saturated with jokes and tall tales. Twain’s remarkable youth was littered with experiences ranging from newspaper printer, reporter, journalist and editor, riverboat pilot, confederate army soldier and gold miner. Samuel Clemens’ adventurous childhood and nomadic lifestyle helped inspire the character formations found in two of his greatest writings, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn.
In a brief overview of Twain’s work we can see the breadth of experiences that…
…ain was looked at having a negative outlook, he continues to be best remembered for his humor. He uses exaggerated comedy to attack selfishness, and overly prideful views he saw in society. Mark Twain’s charm was that he presented these issues in the form of stories in a language uniquely American instead of imitating English writers, he used the rhythms and dialect of his native people to make the characters more relatable so that one could self examine their own community and self. Twain transformed elements from his past into literary expression and helped a nation capture better sense of self.
Hemingway, Ernest, and Edward Shenton. Green Hills of Africa. New York: Scribner, 1935. Print.
Powers, Ron. Mark Twain: a life. New York: Free Press, 2005. Print.
Twain, Mark. The adventures of Tom Sawyer. Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg, 199. Print.