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Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on November 30, 1835 in the tiny village of Florida, Missouri, a town with only a hundred people. He is the sixth child of John and Jane Clemens and died on April 21, 1910 (www.cmgww.com). Samuel Clemens is mostly known from his pen name; Mark Twain. Samuel Clemens is known as the funniest man on earth on his days and he could entertain pretty much everyone in the world. He was famous for putting realistic views of America on his days as a writer through his novels, stories, lectures, and essays. He was also a riverboat pilot, journalist, lecturer, entrepreneur and inventor (www.cmgww.com). Clemens made the American Literature something to be inspired to everyone; others say that he revolutionized the American Literature; He called by many as the father of American literature
In 1839, they moved to Hannibal, Missouri where he grew up as a boy. This town became the born place of his inspirations of most of his books because he discovered, learned, experienced, and observed things that later became the tools that made him one of the best author in literature history. HannibalÂ inspired several of Mark Twain's fictional locales, including "St. Petersburg" inÂ Tom SawyerÂ andÂ Huckleberry Finn (www.biography.com/mark-twain).
When Mark Twain was twelve years old, his father died from pneumonia making him learn everything by himself. His father was a very serious man. Samuel Clemens described him as a man who never smiles. His father was a merchant, a Virginian slave owner, and a lawyer. He was also the king of the house in his family, making money to survive his family. When he died, the family gained problems through their financial. Samuel Clemens began searching of some ways to help out himself and his family to raise money. He then works as a printer's apprentice where his journey as a writer all began. Then at age 15, he moved on to work in the production of a newspaper, theÂ Hannibal Western Union in 1851, helping his brother Orion who owned it. At this time of his life, he began to write and publish his own writings.
In 1861, when the American Civil War started, Clemens moved to Carson City, Nevada along with his brother Orion to get away from the war. Then, they started to mine for gold and silver to get money to be able to survive by their own. Although, it didn't get them enough money to help them survive so they decided to move to Virginia City, Nevada to continue his passion of writing. In 1863, Clemens wrote "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". It was his first time writing under his pen name, Mark Twain, which a call used by Mississippi boatmen is meaning "two fathoms".
In 1967, Clemens met Olivia Langdon, commonly known as Livy, a very shy and serious woman (www.marktwainproject.org). Clemens fell in love with Livy in a love-at-first-sight fashion. Clemens seduced her with romantic words that made them fall in love with each other. Clemens proposed with Livy and got rejected. Literally two months later, they got engaged on November of 1868. In February of 1870, they got married and had four kids: Langdon, Susy, Clara, and Jean. Their son Langdon didn't live much longer until he was a year and a half years old.
After they got married, Clemens was getting a lot of money from the books he wrote. So they decided to move to a mansion in Hartford, Connecticut and got richer from the money that he received. He then became very fortunate. His fortune made him want to establish a publishing firm. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out as he thought it would be. He got so interested in a lot of investments that caused him to lose $200,000 between 1881 and 1894. In April of 1894, he filed for bankruptcy and a year later, he couldn't pay his debts. Clemens tries to come back so he continued from what he does best, writing, and he toured around the world to lecture. Finally 4 years later, in 1898, he had all of his debts paid. Clemens became an international hero for his sacrifices he went through just to pay his debts and he gained publicity in return.
Clemens went through a deep depression entering the 21st century. In 1896, his daughter Susy died of meningitis; followed by selling his mansion in 1903; a year later, on June 5, 1904, his wife Livy died; followed by the death of Jean, his youngest child; and lastly, followed by his death on April 21, 1910 at the age of 74. Samuel Clemens died on a heart disease.
Throughout his life, he wrote books that became loved by Americans. One of his beloved book was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). This book is about a boy named Tom Sawyer who lives with his Aunt Polly along with his annoying half-brother who grew in the Mississippi River. Tom Sawyer is a very stubborn boy, plays pranks to everyone in the town, troublemaker, and very playful. "Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the biggest fools there is. Can't learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is. But, my goodness, he never plays them alike two days, and how is a body to know what's coming? He 'pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute, or make me laugh, it's all down again, and I can't hit him a lick. I ain't doing my duty by that boy, and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows. Spare the rod and spile the child, as the Good Book says. I'm a laying up sin and suffering for us both, I know. He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! He's my own dead sister's boy, poor thing, and I ain't got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart most breaks" (Twain 4). This passage explains Aunt Polly's struggles of Tom because he is very stubborn that he always gets in trouble by his Aunt Polly along with his half-brother making fun of him while watching him get spank and sometimes gets beaten by her, but who can blame her? Aunt Polly is kind hearted. She always worries about Tom's safety that his love for him is very special even though she is too preventive for him and always criticize Tom's trouble, which some of them are made up by his annoying half-brother. Above all, Aunt Polly couldn't face the fact that her "poor dead sister" as she was referring to as her sister throughout the book, died and left Tom when he was just a baby. Tom Sawyer's father also died when he was young and there was no apparent reason of how his father died throughout the book. This book represents Mark Twain's adventures when he was a boy living beside the Missouri river. It is also related to Twain's experiences when he met his wife Livy. It is related because in the book, Tom Sawyer fell in love with a girl named Becky who he flirts in a very romantic way through words, just like Mark Twain, Tom was very romantically poetic when he talks to Becky. Throughout the book, Becky wanted adventures with Tom because she hasn't really gotten one since she's always home. He responded that someday they will have an adventure. That promise was soon to happen until Amy Lawrence, a girl who used to date Tom and Becky's number one enemy at school became "engaged" to Tom. Although it was a lie, Becky hated Tom and never talked to him. Tom felt broken-hearted and didn't know what to do. Then, Tom got in more trouble by Aunt Polly because he dropped a sugar-bowl onto the floor. By that time, Tom got really emotional and un-loved by everyone so he played death and played pirates with his friend Huckleberry Finn to make everyone feel guilty. It turned out to be the other way around, Tom saw everyone's reaction when they found out he was dead; Becky and especially Aunt Polly. This was among the most emotional part of the story when Tom saw Aunt Polly cried to sleep. Tom really felt guilty so he hugged her and kissed her. Tom immediately told Huckleberry that he wanted to be alive again. Tom gave Huck the idea to just show up in their funeral in front of everybody. The result was shocking by everyone but their return was celebrated by everyone and everything came back to normal; Becky dated Tom again and Aunt Polly still beats Tom from his troubles but loved each other even more. Mark Twain basedÂ The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on his memories of growing up in Hannibal. He foreword that most of the events of Tom Sawyer occurred in his childhood. In fact, most of the characters were based on Mark Twain's relatives and friends: Aunt Polly features of Twain's mother; his annoying brother Sid features his younger brother; his father as a dead character in the book because in real life he really his father and he barely talked to each other; and Tom Sawyer as him. By reading the critics of this book, this book received a lot of positive critics such as the NY times "It is exactly such a clever book asÂ Tom SawyerÂ which is sure to leave its stamp on younger minds" (New York Times). This book prequels another of Mark Twain's famous book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). This book is known as one of Mark Twain's classic novels and later became listed among the great American novels. The book was based on a boy named Huckleberry Finn, who was first introduced in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as Tom's friend; he was the son of the towns dunk who didn't really cared about his son. This was the reason why he left and played death with Tom Sawyer. This book was criticized and became controversial by many because of its used of racial slurs such as "nigger" that offended all the African American readers; although, the book was based on anti-racist. In result, the book was banned by public schools. Last year in 2011, It's publishers didn't want it to be banned so they made the book to be more friendly for classrooms; replacing the word "nigger" to the word "slave" to lessen the controversy.
Most Americans today pictured Mark Twain as more of depressing man instead of the most funniest man as Americans used to picture him as. He once quoted in his work Letters from the Earth, "Life was not a valuable gift, but death was. Life was a fever-dream made up of joys embittered by sorrows, pleasure poisoned by pain; a dream that was a nightmare-confusion of spasmodic and fleeting delights, ecstasies, exultations, happinesses, interspersed with long-drawn miseries, griefs, perils, horrors, disappointments, defeats, humiliations, and despairs--the heaviest curse devisable by divine ingenuity; but death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man's best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free." This quote explains his sadness from the death of his wife and sister. This was the beginning of a different Mark Twain that we used to know as the American Humorist. After all of his struggles from the death of most of his loved ones, we all know why he changed his personality and style of writing. After all, he will always be the American Humorist.
Mark Twain is a very special part of the American Literature. He was not just known as the humorist but he was