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Диплом Early life of Mark Twain. Literary career, Twains first successful experiences. Marriage and wifes influence on Mark Twains literary works. The Guilded Age as the first significant work. Critical analysis of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
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Предмет: Ин. языки.
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MINISTRY OF HIGHER AND SECONDARY SPECIALISED EDUCATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
GULISTAN STATE UNIVERSITY
The English and Literature department
Kan Anna's qualification work on speciality 5220100, English philology on theme:
Mark Twain's Satire
Supervisor: Tojiev Kh.
1.1. General characteristics of the work
2.1. Some words about Mark Twain
II. Main part
1.2.Early life of Mark Twain
2.2. Beginning of literary career, Twain's first successful experiences
3.2. Marriage and wife's influence on Mark Twain's literary works
4.2. “The Guilded Age” as the first significant work
5.2. Critical analysis of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
6.2. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” as the most significant work
7.2. Later years of Mark Twain
8.2. Simpletons abroad (American literature abroad)
1.3. Afterwards to Mark Twain's literary significance
1.1 General characteristics of the work
The theme of our qualification work sounds as following: “Mark Twain and his Satire” The brief characteristics of our work can be seen from the following features:
The topicality of this work causes several important points. We dare to say that Mark Twain always remains topical for us because his works, even written more than a century ago his immortal humor, tell about the modern things and phenomena which happen in our lives, such as humans' qualities, the problems of friendship, support, greed, populism, childhood, love, revenge, etc. And our work becomes much more topical because of the reason that Mark Twain is still one of the most popular American writers read by readers. We are sure that there is hardly a man in our country can be found, who has never heard of adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, Yankee from Connecticut, etc. We are also convincer that every intellectual learner of English has these works as hand-books for themselves. So the significance of our work can be proved by the following reasons:
a) Mark Twain for the American literature is of the same value as Chekhov for the Russians, Navoi for the Uzbeks, Gachec for the Checks, etc.
b) Though written about his times, humoristic works of Twain reflect the real state of affairs happened in our modern life, and even such scenes might happen with the readers of our qualification work.
c) Twain's books are also worth studying for their brilliant humour, metaphoric language, ideas and dialogues within the works.
Having based upon the topicality of the theme we are able to formulate the general purposes of our qualification work.
a) To study, analyze, and sum up the humour- essence of Twain's works.
b) To analyze humoristic works of the writer.
c) To prove the idea of modernity in Shakespeare's “Midsummer Night”.
c) To mention and compare between themselves the critical opinions concerning to the play.
d) To take time parallels between Twain's times and reality of nowadays.
e) To study Mark Twain's heritage and greatness and significance on the base of his works “Huckleberry Finn”, “Tom Sawyer”, “Yankee from Connecticut”, “The Prince and the Pauper”.
If we say about the new information used within our work we may note that the work studies the problem from the modern positions and analyzes the modern trends appeared in this subject for the last ten years. For instance, the novelty concludes in a wide collecting of Internet materials dealing with Mark Twain's heritage.
The practical significance of the work concludes in the following items:
a) The work could serve as a good source of materials for additional reading by students at schools, colleges and lyceums.
b) The problem of difficult understanding stylistic devices could be a little bit easier,
c) Those who would like to possess a perfect knowledge of English will find our work useful and practical.
d) Our qualification work is recognition of greatness of our outstanding American writer.
Having said about the scholars who dealt with the same theme earlier we may mention B.Shaw, A.Anikst, A.Paine, Dr.Jonson, Alfred Bates and many others.
We used in our work scientific approaches methods of general analysis.
The novelty of the work is concluded in including the modern interpretations of the Twain's heritage.
Compositional structure of my work consists of four major parts - Introduction, Main part, Conclusion, and Bibliography. The brief content of each part is to be presented for your attention.
We subdivided the introductory material into two sections.. The first section gives some brief characteristics of the work, its aims and goals, problems and methods of investigation. The second item reveals common biographic milestones of Mark Twain, which were significant for the subject matter of our theme. The main part bears eight items in itself. Each items reveal the concrete problem. In the first paragraph we reflected the early years of Mark Twain's life, precisely his young years, when Twain worked on the Mississippi, and the experiences of which were later reflected in all the works of satirist. The second item demonstrates the analysis of satirical works and his novel “Simpletons Abroad”. In the third paragraph of the main part we took into consideration the problem of the influence of wife onto the work of Twain. The fourth item tells us about the satiric novel “The Guilded Age”, - second serious work of Twain. The next two paragraphs of the main part take into consideration Mark Twain's the most famous and magnificent works , in which his satirical talent appeared most greatly, - “Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” .The seventh item tells about the later years of Mark Twain, which were characterized by the crisis of his creative activity, upsetting the reality of life, and sharpening of social contradictions. The last paragraph tells about the history of the American literary invasion in Europe owing to appearance of Twain's works. In the Conclusion work we gave some notes concerning the literary significance of Twain's works, their novelty and actuality for modern readers. The qualification work contains to the bibliography , which mentions the list of literature used in the frame of our work.
2.1 Mark Twain - a great American writer - contributed an enormous contribution to literature of his country
Nevertheless, it is not all that would be possible to say about Twain. Mark Twain is one of the most important figures of the American life and the American culture as a whole. He was bound by the incalculable links with the move of development of his country, its national particularity, and social contradictions, and this link is felt deeply through all of his creative activity.
Leaving out of the folk layers, he became the brilliant representative of the American humanitarian intellectuals. Besides, under that layer, he did not "run", like many of his congeners, on the positions of dominating class, but he has occupied the critical position on all of the main questions concerning lives of his country, having criticized the politics dominating in his country, dominating religion, and dominating moral rules.
The importance of Twain as the artistic historian of the USA is difficult to overestimate.
Bernard Show once said that a researcher of the American society of the XIX century would have to come to address to Twain not less, than a historian of the French society of the XVIII century would have to treat to the works of Voltaire. In development of Bernard Show's thought we think that it is necessary to add that those who want to knew more about the American life of the XX century, up to the most alive contemporary, will also find a lot of important and actual materials in Twain's works - with their shrewdness and generalizing power of the talent of this great American!
The importance and the role of Twain as the outrageously forming power in the American literature does not only weaken through the year passing, but it still becomes firmly established again and again with an increasing power.
"The whole modern American literature came out of one book of Mark Twain, which is identified as "Huckleberry Finn". This is the best of all our books... There was nothing like to be existed in our literature before it. Nothing which could be equal to this book has been still written ".
These words belong to one of the largest and most influential masters and trailblazers of the modern literature of the USA - to Ernest Hemingway.
“ Persuaded," wrote Bernard Shaw
As we wrote above, B. Show wrote about Mark Twain, "that the future historian of America will find your works indispensable to him as a French historian finds the political tracts of Voltaire." By his own participation, no artist in our literature save Lincoln is so broad a segment of typical American experience in the last century, Langhorne Clemens, known by the most famous pen name that an American ever bore, is a matchless annalist of his times. His life makes those Carry men in Boston and Concord and New York resemble the flowering of talents that blossomed in too retired a k. He knew the greatest river Mississippi of the continent as Melville knew the high. He witnessed the epic of America, the westward tide at its full, with option keener than the shallow appraisals of Bret Harte and Joaquin. When in his Autobiography Mark Twain recalls after forty years the faddy of an emigrant lad stabbed to death by a drunken comrade, and adds, the red life gush from his breast," we are reminded of Whitman's nation, "I was there"--with the difference that Walt's immediacy was genitive, Mark's actual. In the activities of the external man as well as in actor and temperament, Mark Twain was a representative American-- idyllic ante-bellum boyhood in a river town, to maturity enmeshed in Toss-purposes of the Gilded Age which he christened, and thence to the years of mingled hope and disillusion in the Progressive Era. Despite we avowal, "There is not a single human characteristic which can be f labeled as 'American,' " Mark Twain is stamped unforgettably with the brand. If he failed finally to reconcile reality and ideality, he abs and gave expression to both. That failure was not his; it belonged to penetration age his incurably Calvinist mind saw all the events of his life, from son November 30, 1835, in the village of Florida, Missouri, as a chain of titian forged by some power outside his will. Like his Connecticut Yankee as led to reflect upon heredity, "a procession of ancestors that stretches a billion years to the Adam-clam or grasshopper or monkey from whom ace has been so tediously and ostentatiously and unprofitably developed."
1.2 Early life of Mark Twain
I am persuaded," wrote Bernard Shaw about Mark Twain, "that the future historian of America will find your works indispensable to him as a French historian finds the political tracts of tare." By his own participation, no artist in our literature save Lincoln is so broad a segment of typical American experience in the last century, Langhorne Clemens, known by the most famous pen name that an American ever bore, is a matchless annalist of his times. His life makes those Carry men in Boston and Concord and New York resemble the flowering of talents that blossomed in too retired a k. He knew the greatest river of the continent as Melville knew the high. He witnessed the epic of America, the westward tide at its full, with option keener than the shallow appraisals of Bret Harte and Joaquin. When in his Autobiography Mark Twain recalls after forty years the faddy of an emigrant lad stabbed to death by a drunken comrade, and adds, the red life gush from his breast," we are reminded of Whitman's nation, "I was there"--with the difference that Walt's immediacy was genitive, Mark's actual. In the activities of the external man as well as in actor and temperament, Mark Twain was a representative American-- idyllic ante-bellum boyhood in a river town, to maturity enmeshed in Toss-purposes of the Gilded Age which he christened, and thence to the years of mingled hope and disillusion in the Progressive Era. Despite »we avowal, "There is not a single human characteristic which can be f labeled as 'American,' " Mark Twain is stamped unforgettably with the brand. If he failed finally to reconcile reality and ideality, he abs and gave expression to both. That failure was not his; it belonged to penetration.
age his incurably Calvinist mind saw all the events of his life, from son November 30, 1835, in the village of Florida, Missouri, as a chain of titian forged by some power outside his will. Like his Connecticut Yankee as led to reflect upon heredity, "a procession of ancestors that stretches a billion years to the Adam-clam or grasshopper or monkey from whom ace has been so tediously and ostentatiously and unprofitably developed."
His father, an austere restless Virginian, bequeathed the family a vain hone of fortune from "the Tennessee lands," like Squire Hawkins in The Gilded Age; he also gave his son an object lesson in failure like the example set the father of a genius whom Mark the Baronial once rose to challenge Shakespeare of Stratford. The wife and mother, Jane Lampton Clernens of Kentucky pioneer stock, sought by her strong Presbyterianism to balance her husband's village-lawyer agnosticism; their famous son inherited the self-tormenting conscience with the latter's will to disbelieve. As for derivations more remote Twain the romantic relished his maternal tie with the Earls of Durham through "the American claimant," while Twain the democrat reserved his sole ancestral pride for a Regicide judge, who "did what he could toward reducing the list of crowned shams of his day."
In 1839 the Clemens's moved to Hannibal, on the west bank of the Mis-sissippi, and set the conditions of boyhood and youth from which flowed the wellspring of Mark Twain's clearest inspiration. Thanks to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, its aspect in the forties has become the property of millions: the wharf giving upon the turbid waters where rafts and broad-horns, fast packets and gay showboats passed endlessly, the plank sidewalks where Tom and Becky trudged to school, the tanyard where Huck's drunken father slept among the hogs, the steep slope of Cardiff (really Holliday's) Hill, the surrounding woods of oak and hickory and sumach, and a few miles downstream the cave where Injun Joe met death. Hannibal lay in its halcyon summer between frontier days and the convulsions of the Civil War, the latter forecast in the mobbing of an occasional abolitionist and the track-ing down of runaway slaves. On the whole, happiness outweighed grief; prized in retrospect was the large freedom of a boy's life, with the swimming hole and woods full of game, jolly playmates banded against a world of adult supremacy, and dinner tables groaning with prodigal hospitality. "It was a heavenly place for a boy," Hannibal's first citizen remembered.
Sam Clemens' schooling ended early, when he was about twelve. After his father's death the lad was apprenticed to a printer's shop--"the poor boys college," Lincoln called it. Lack of formal education doubtless gave the later Mark Twain an eagerness to have his genius certified by convention, and also led him occasionally to discover shopworn ideas with a thrill impossible to sophisticates; but it also delivered him from those cultural stereotypes into which the genius of New England, for example, for generations had been poured. Fatalist that he was, Twain liked to date his career from certain accidents. The first of them came one day on the streets of Hannibal, when the young printer picked up a stray leaf from a book about Joan of Arc, an for the first time saw magic in the printed word. Henceforth the itch scribbling was strong upon him. His earliest known appearance in print, crudely humorous sketch called "The Dandy Frightening the Squatter," appeared in the Boston Carpet Bag of May i, 1852. He left Hannibal the next year, wandering on to New York and Philadelphia, and began to send hometown papers the first of those facetious travel pieces which he wrote sporadically for the next half-century. In 1857, after tarrying awhile in Cincinnati, Jie set out for New Orleans with a notion of shipping for the Amazon. But, lacking funds, he became a steamboat pilot under the tutelage of Horace Bixby. That veteran gradually taught him the ever changing aspects of the Mississippi, by sun and starlight, at low water and in flood.
For two years after that Clemens turned his wheel atop the taxes deck, drawing a licensed pilot's high wages, while he gained postgraduate schooling inhuman nature. Oft quoted is his later assertion: "When I find a well-drawn character in fiction or biography I generally take a warm personal interest in him, for the reason that I have known him before--met him on the river." A born worrier, he felt the responsibility that lay within a pilot's hands as he steered past narrows and snags and sand bars, or for the sake of prestige raced his rivals until the boiler nearly burst under its head of steam. His old master, many years later, stated that Clemens "knew the river like a book, but he lacked confidence." One may speculate whether a very human incertitude, deep in his being, did not chime with a classic type of humor in his constant self-portrayal as the man who gets slapped: the bumptious yet timid cub of Life on the Mississippi; the fear-bedeviled soldier of "The Campaign That Failed"; the tenderfoot of Roughing It, setting forest fires and just missing wealth through sheer stupidity; or the harassed traveler losing his tickets, browbeaten by porters and shopkeepers, falling foul of the authorities, who appears in a long sequence from the juvenile Snodgrass letters to A Tramp Abroad.
Clemens' career on the river ended in the spring of 1861 with the outbreak of hostilities. With brief enthusiasm he joined a Confederate militia band, savoring the boyish conspiracy of war in its early stages. In the lack of discipline the band soon broke up; and Sam, with qualms about fighting for slavery, yielded to persuasion from his Unionist brother Orion, lately appointed Secretary of the Territory of Nevada. In July, 1861, the two set out for the West. The outlines of the story told in Roughing If are true enough: the nineteen-day trip across the plains and Rockies to Carson City; an attack r mining fever that left Sam none the richer; his acceptance of a job on the Vll"ginia City Enterprise; a journalist's view of San Francisco in flush times; and a newspaper-sponsored voyage to the Sandwich Islands. His dream of becoming a millionaire by a stroke of fortune never forsook him; lingering ift
his blood, the bonanza fever made him a lifelong victim of gold bricks, quick profit schemes, and dazzling inventions. But his return to journalistic humor the vein he had worked in his late teens and early twenties, imitative of such professional humorists as Seba Smith, J. J. Hooper, and B. P. Shillaber ' whose productions every newspaper office abounded--proved to be his real] lucky strike. In 1863 the Missourian of twenty-eight met Artemus Ward o the latter's Western lecture tour, and watched a master storyteller in action-the adroit timing, change of pace, and deadpan obliviousness to the point of one's own wit. Twain's "How to Tell a Story" (1895) acknowledges these profitable lessons.
It was Ward who encouraged him to seek a wider audience than the redshirted miners of Washoe and nabobs of the Golden Gate. The first fruit of this encouragement to appear in the East--a piece of jocular sadism against the small fry who made day and night hideous at resort hotels, "Those Blasted Children"--was printed early in 1864 by the New York Mercury Meanwhile in 1863 Clemens had begun to imitate current funny men like Ward, Orpheus C. Kerr, and Josh Billings, by selecting a pen name, the river-boat man's cry for two fathoms, "Mark Twain." Clemens stoutly maintained he appropriated it soon after an eccentric pilot-journalist of New Orleans Captain Isaiah Sellers, relinquished it by death. No contribution in the New Orleans press, however, has ever been found under that name; also, Sellers' death occurred a year after Clemens adopted this pseudonym. Whether original or borrowed, the name served an important purpose. It created an alter ego, a public character, which Clemens could foster through the years while doffing it in private as he pleased. It set definable limits to his role of being what the age called a "phunny phellow." A speculative critic might guess that his abiding interest in transposed identities, twins, and Siamese prodigies mirrored a dualism which self-observation would have shown running like a paradox through his nature: gullible and skeptical by turns; realistic and sentimental, a satirist who gave hostages to the established order, a frontiersman who bowed his neck obediently to Victorian mores, and an idealist who loved the trappings of pomp and wealth. Incessantly he contradicted himself on a variety of subjects. His was not a single-track mind, but a whole switcn-yard. The creation of two more or less separate identities--Clemens the sensitive and perceptive friend, Mark Twain the robust and astringent humorist springing from the same trunk of personality, helped to make him like those ligatured twins in Pudd'nhead Wilson, Luigi and Angelo, "a human philopena."
2.2 Beginning of literary career, Twains first successful experiences
Under the name of Mark Twain the wild-haired Southwesterner began to contribute to the press yarns swapped about the legislative halls of Carso, the bars and billiard parlors of San Francisco, and the hot stoves of miners on Jackass Hill. From these last, about February, 1865, he first heard the old folk tale of the Jumping Frog. To the anecdote he added the salt of human values which the genre usually Sacked, in garrulous Simon Wheeler and simple Jim Smiley the Frog's owner. Published in the Saturday Press of Kew York, November 18,1865, it was swiftly broadcast. The author grumbled in a letter home about the irony of riding high on "a villanous backwoods sketch," but already he was tastingjhat sense of popularity_which soon came to be his elixir of life. In October, 1866, back from Honolulu and planted on a San Francisco lecture platform, he first encountered another powerful stimulant, the instant response. Early in 1867, at Cooper Union in New York, he won his eastern spurs, and began to be hailed as rightful heir to Artemus Ward, lately dead of tuberculosis in England. Soon, as his friend William Dean Howells phrased it, Twain learned "all the stops of that simple instrument, man." The lecturer's effect upon the writer was great. Increasingly Twain came to write by ear, testing his books by reading aloud, while making the expanded anecdote or incident the unit of his literary composition. Sometimes, of course, without benefit of his infectious personal charm, that mane of fiery red hair and hawklike nose, the gestures of an artist's hands, and the inflections of that irresistible drawl, a reader of cold print missed qualities which on the platform redeemed humor of a perishable sort.
"When I began to lecture, and in my earlier writings, my sole idea was to make comic capital out of everything I saw and heard," he told the biographer Archibald Henderson. After his first volume, of chiefly Western sketches, named The Celebrated Jumping Frog (1867), he reinforced this reputation by distilling a humorous travelogue out of the letters sent back to the Alta California from his cruise to the Mediterranean and Holy Land on the Quaker City in 1867. Comic capital was readily furnished by the flood of tourists, affluent merchants and their wives, war profiteers, former army officers on holiday, and clergymen for whom Jerusalem justified the junket, which swept over the Old World after Appomattox. Knowing themselves to be innocents, they faced down their provincialism by brag and cockalorum, and haggling over prices. Mark Twain gladly joined them, joking his way among the shrines and taboos of antiquity, comparing Como unfavorably with Tahoe, bathing in the Jordan, finding any foreign tongue incredibly tunny, and pitying ignorance, superstition, and lack of modern conveniences. 1 he Innocents Abroad (1869) helped to belittle our romantic allegiance to turope, feeding our emergent nationalism. Instantly a best seller, it delighted ^nose Americans in whom "the sense of Newport" (as Henry James later Called it) had never been deeply engrafted. A slender minority like James himself felt that Mark Twain amused only primitive persons, was the Phji-tines' laureate. Years later, in 1889, in a letter to Andrew Lang, Twain WouU glory in this charge:
Indeed I have been misjudged, from the first. I have never tried in even single instance, to help cultivate the cultivated classes. I was not equipped for ' either by native gifts or training. And I never had any ambition in that directin ' but always hunted for bigger game--the masses. I have seldom deliberately trf H to instruct them, but have done my best to entertain them. Yes, you see I have always catered for the Belly and the Members.
Yet this is not the whole story. From an early date, Mark Twain, the playboy of the Western world, had begun to feel the aspirations of an artist, to crave deeper approval than had come to the cracker-box humorist like Sam Slick and Jack Downing. In Honolulu in 1866 the diplomat Anson Burlin-game gave him advice by which the aged Twain avowed he had lived "for forty years": "Seek your comradeships among your superiors in intellect and character; always climb." On the Quaker City voyage the Missourian fell under the refining spell of "Mother" Fairbanks, wife of a prosperous Ohio publisher, and tore up those travel letters which she thought crude. Always enjoying petticoat dominion, he eagerly sought her approval of the revised Innocents and was enchanted when she pronounced it
"authentic." "A name 1 have coveted so long--and secured at last!" be exclaimed. "/ don't care any-thing about being humorous, or poetical, or eloquent, or anything of that kind--the end and aim of my ambition is to he authentic--is to be considered authentic." In a similar thirst for higher recognition he told Howells, reviewer of Innocents in the Atlantic: "When I read that review of yours, I felt like the woman who was so glad her baby had corne white." Nevertheless, as Twain found to his intermittent chagrin, his reputation throughout life kept returning to that of a "phunny phellow," turning cartwheels to captivate the groundlings--until at length he built up the defensive attitude expressed to Lang. At Atlantic dinners, the author of "Old Times on the Mississippi" and Tom Sawyer found himself seated below the salt, ranked by Longfellow and Lowell and Whittier, as well as by such adopted sons of Boston as Howells and Aldrich. Despite the new decorum of his life and the growing richness of his art, the wild man from the West was expected, some time, somehow, to disgrace himself. And, by the meridian of Boston, he eventually did so, when at the celebrated Whittier birthday dinner on December 17, 1877, he made his speech of innocent gaiety about three drunks in the high Sierras who personated Emerson, Longfellow, and Holmes. The diners were shocked, refusing their laughter while he stood solitary (as Howells said) "with his joke dead on his hands." The next day or so, when Twain's haunting distrust of himself and his own taste had induced a penitential hangover, he sent apologies; writing characteristically: "Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. gut then I am God's fool, and all his works must be contemplated with respect." He then begged Howells to exclude him from the Atlantic for a while, in the interest of readers' good will. The gravity with which both the saints and the sinner regarded this incident reveals the massiveness of the genteel tradition in New England and the probationary status upon which Mark was kept for so many years.
Between the publication of the Innocents and this indiscretion, Clemens had taken a wife whose remolding influence has been the subject oЈ much debate. The story of their courtship is familiar: his first sight of her delicate face in a miniature carried by betrothal while her father, the richest businessman in Elmira, and her kin were slowly won over; and their wedding early in 1870, with Clemens the bridegroom trying unsuccessfully to establish himself as a solid newspaper editor in Buffalo, but moving to Hartford in 1871 to resume a free-lance life. His veneration of women and their purity was almost fanatical. "I wouldn't have a girl that / was worthy of," he wrote "Mother" Fairbanks before his engagement. "She wouldn't do."
About the sexual make-up of Mark Twain speculation has been indulged since the Freudian era. In that famous sophomoric sketch 1601, written in mid-career to amuse his clerical friend Joe Twichell, he had Sir Walter Raleigh describe "a people in ye uttermost parts of America, y* copulate not until they be five-St-thirty years of age." This, it happens, was the age when Clemens married a semi-invalid wife, as if some inadequacy in himself, some low sexual vitality, made such a woman his fitting mate. And yet respecting their physical love for each other and the fruitfulness of their union, with its four children, no doubt can be raised. What illicit experience might have come to a boy growing up in the accessible world of slavery, and passing his green manhood upon river boats and in bonanza towns, can only be guessed at. In later years, respecting the idealized Hannibal of his boyhood, he went so far as to deny the existence of sexual irregularities; and by confine-mg his two great novels about Hannibal to adolescence he was able in a banner to carry his point. Obviously certain taboos about sex, personal as well as conventional, appear in his writings from beginning to end. Unlike friend Howells, he attempted no probing of desire, no analysis of the affinity between man and woman beyond the calf love of Tom and Becky and [he implausible treatment of Laura the siren of The Gilded A Only under the protective shield of miscegenation, in the person of warm-blooded Negress Roxana Wilson, does he venture approach passion which overleaps". Joan of virgin of exquisite purity plainly is the heroine after his inmost heart fear of sex, like the shrinking of primitive races and some adolescent from carnality as if it meant degradation of the body, seems to lie at the roar of Mark Twain's nature. The exceptions of his occasional bawdry--in and a few unprinted works like his speech before the Stomach Club in Paris and his manuscript "Letters from the Earth"--but prove the rule, in ridiculing the body and its ways sufficiently to suit the most fanatic Puritan.
Yet Twain was in no sense a misogynist. He loved the company of women, of the refined women whose tastes and restraints fitted his own pre-suppositions about them. His understanding of the feminine mind has left no more delightful evidence than "Eve's Diary," written in 1905 shortly after Olivia's death, so that Adam's final bereavement becomes the epitaph of his own loss: "Wherever she was, there was Eden." Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn M. Prosveshcheniye 1986 pp.13, 26, 78, 134, 145, 149 In summary, Mark Twain's personal make-up and the conventions of gentility surrounding the kind of success he aspired to, joined to suppress the recognition of sex as a key motive in human actions--leaving woman not an object of desire but of reverential chivalry.
3.2 Marriage and wife's influence onto Mark twain's literary works
The effect of his wife upon Twain the artist has provoked latter-day discus-sion. One school of thought holds that Clemens was forced, first by his mother and then by his wife, to "make good," i.e., to make money and be respectable. Moreover, thanks to the censorship of his wife, they say, he became not the New World Rabelais but a frustrated genius incapable of calling his soul or vocabulary his own. It is clear, however, that proof of Livy's "humiliating" dominion rests largely upon Twain's letters to Howells: that pair of devoted husbands married to invalids who made a gallant little joke over being henpecked. The notion that women exercised a gentle tyranny over their men folk, for the latter's good, always appealed to Mark Twain, schooled in Western theories that man was coarser clay and woman a rare and special being (as among the Washoe miners in Roughing It, who chipped m $2,500 in gold as a gift at the miraculous sight of a live woman). All his late new encouraged women to reform him improve his taste and manners. His three little daughters who shared in the family rite knout as "dusting on Papa, and the "angel-fish" of adolescent girls in his Bermudian Indian summer, were among the youngest of the sex whose devoted slave he rejoiced to was a kind oЈ game in the feudal tradition, which he adored. But to assure therefore that Twain the genius was henpecked, baffled, unmanned by women in general and Livy in particular is to convert a jest into a cry to agnate converse influence of husband upon wife something deserves to be aid Twain's vitality rescued her from abysses of timorous living, his banter relaxed her serious disposition, and his religious skepticism destroyed her Christian faith.
as for the specific question of censorship, we know that Twain liked to read aloud en jailed the results to his daily composition, usually meeting the approval he craved, sometimes encountering a chill disfavor to which he was equally sensitive. He was a poor self-critic and knew it. He plunged into *writing without much plan or foresight. Levy's judgment in matters of simple good taste and in pruning wordiness and irrelevance was clearly superior to his own in the heat of incubation. A careful examination of his manuscripts shows that Mrs. Clemens, like that other long-standing adviser William Dean Howells, objected to certain vivid words and phrases-- "wallow," "bowels," "spit," "rotten," and realistic allusions to stenches and putrefaction which always tempted Mark Twain, so that he grumbled about her "steadily weak-ening the English tongue"--but that in mild profanities (like Huck Finn's "comb me all to hell'') and in rare inclinations toward the risquй (such as the farce of "The Royal Nonesuch") the author on second thought was his own most attentive censor. He was not above playing an occasional hazard with his critics to see how far he could skate on thin ice; then doubled on his own track back to safety. Just as he dreamed of the unabashed nakedness of a boy's freedom on a raft floating down the Mississippi, now and again he yearned for the lusty old ways of medieval speech, "full of unconscious coarsenesses and innocent indecencies," "good old questionable stories," as the Connecticut Yankee says. But quickly he reminded himself, as he observes in A Tramp Abroad, that the license of the printed word had been "sharply curtailed within the past eighty or ninety years." To this curb in the main he gave unstinting consent.
Up to the time of his anchorage in Hartford in 1871, the most important facts about Mark Twain are the things that happened to him, shaping his development as an artist and filling the granaries of memory. After that date the chief milestones are the books he wrote out of that accumulation. His maturity and self-assurance can be gauged, growing from book to book through the next two decades, as he lectured at home and abroad, met the captains of literature and politics and finance, read widely if desultorily, and Perfected his early journalistic manner until it became one of the great styles American letters--easy, incisive, sensitive to nuances of dialect, rich in the resources of comedy, satire, irony, and corrosive anger.
The Innocents Abroad (1869) and Roughing It (1872) he learned, under emancipation from newspaper reporting, to take greater liberties with fact for art's sake. Both books owe such structure as they have to a rough chronology. Upon this thread Mark Twain the raconteur strings one story after another. The latter volume offers us almost all the classic types which Americans in general, frontiersmen in particular, had long since favored: the tall tale, the melodramatic shocker, the yarn of pointless garrulity, humor, the canard of impossible coincidence, the chain of free association that wanders farther and farther from its announced subject; the comedy of man in his cups, the animal fable, and the delusions of a lunatic. Paradox, surprise and understatement often heighten his effects. Anecdote continues to be the fiber of those later travel books, which show more fluency in repeating the essential pattern, but grow in world-weariness after the early gusto of the Innocents and the Argonauts. They include A Tramp Abroad (1880), with more travesty of European languages, guide books, and art criticism, and Following the Equator (1897), which reports Twain's lecture tour in Australia and India. Inevitable become his burlesques of sentimental poetry, parodies of romantic situations, yarns picked up in new places or recollected from the limbo of years. In this last book, however, flippancy at the expense of peoples and customs vanishes when the traveler reaches the threshold of Asia, as if the ancient disillusioned torpor of that continent had stricken the satirist dumb. These travelogues do not show Twain's gifts to greatest advantage. Flashes of notable writing occur, but intrinsically they are the potboilers of a master improviser.
4.2.The earliest novel he attempted was The Gilded Age, in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, published late in 1873, just as the panic was ringing down the curtain upon the worst excesses of that age. It harks back to their common knowledge of Missouri, where Warner had been a surveyor, and to Twain's passing observation of Washington in the winter of 1867-1868, Mark Twain Collection of works NewYork 1997 pp.156-159, 274-276, 279, 412 when after return from the Holy Land he had served briefly and unhappily as private secretary to pompous Senator William Stewart of Nevada and more successfully had begun to write humorous commentaries on the news (antici-pative of the late Will Rogers) for the Tribune and the Herald of New York. This phase left him with an abiding scorn for politicians, their intelligence and honesty. ("Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can, is as characteristic as the remark that we have "no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.") Beside the bungling amateurs of Carso City, these were graduates in graft, scrambling for the spoils of what a lat -(critic termed the Great Barbecue. This same spectacle of post-bellum Winton which sickened fastidious Henry Adams and led even Whitman to optimist to pen the darker pages of Democratic Vistas, gave Mark Twain his first shining target for satire.
Warner supplied conventional plot elements of romance, gentility, pluck and luck, harmonized with the theme of material success, which the novel debunks at one level but praises fulsomely at another, when it is sanctioned by what passes among the majority as honesty. Twain himself was always dazzled by the romance of fortune, especially if it followed the ascent from rags to riches, as he shows in a story like "The Ј1,000,000 Bank Note" (1893). Yet he was aware of the ironies and unhappiness springing from the root of all evil, as revealed in "The $50,000 Bequest" (1904) and most superbly in "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg" (1899). In The Gilded Age the authors' wavering purpose resembles a mixture of Jonathan Swift and Horatio Alger. Satiric punches are pulled by the constant impulse to strike out in all directions but follow through in none. The vulgarity of a chromo civilization and the urge to keep up with the Joneses mingle with churchly hypocrisy, pork-barrel politics, high tariff, oratorical buncombe, abuse of the franking privilege, bribery, personal immorality in high places, profiteers of "shoddy," and the wider degradation of the democratic dogma.
The Gilded Age is clearly a world of optimistic illusion, proudly putting its best foot forward though the other limp behind in a shabby mud-bespat-tered boot. In the backwoods, stagecoaches with horns blowing enter and leave town at a furious clip, but once out of sight "drag along stupidly enough"--even as steamboats burn fat pine to make an impressive smoke when they near port. Credit is the basis of society; a typical parvenu boasts; "I wasn't worth a cent a year ago, and now I owe two millions of dollars." Most engaging specimen of this psychology is Colonel Sellers, a New World Micawber, who deals in imaginary millions while he and the family dine off turnips and cold water (man's best diet, he loftily assures them), and warm themselves at a stove through whose isinglass door flickers the illusory glow of a candle. Drawn from Twain's Uncle James Lampton, the Colonel is an epitome of the American dream that remains a mirage--impulsive, generous, hospitable, and scheming to enrich not only himself but relatives and friends, and incidentally benefit all humankind, a colossal failure who basks forever in the rush light of the success cult. Not dishonest by nature, in the heady milieu of Washington he begins to apologize for bribery ("a harsh term"), while hitching his wagon to the baleful star of Senator Dilworthy, drawn roan the lineaments of Kansas' notorious Pomeroy. In certain passages Mark win's irony is whetted to a cutting edge, but the book's total effect is tar. In many ways both authors were children of the Gilded Age, resuscitate him. The modest laurels of a dramatic version of The Gilded Age, produced in 1874, led Twain and Howells to attempt in 1883 an hailer' sequel which, however, the stage Sellers of the earlier script, John T, declined to play because that character had been exaggerated brink of lunacy. The plot, as embalmed in Twain's novel, The Anieri Claimant (1892) Mark Twain The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer L. High School 1974 pp. 34,47, 89, 113-114, justifies the actor's verdict. It is one of the humorist's m strained and least successful efforts.
5.2 Critical analysis of “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
Three years after The Gilded Age Twain published Tom Sawyer, the first of three great books about the Mississippi River of his youth. Beyond question, Huckleberry Finn (1885), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and Tom Sawyer (1876) are, in that order, his finest works. The reasons for their supe-riority are not far to seek. In plotting a book his structural sense was always weak; intoxicated by a hunch, he seldom saw far ahead, and too many of his stories peter out from the author's fatigue or surfeit. His wayward technique as Howells recognized, came close to free association:
So far as I know, Mr. Clemens is the first writer to use in extended writing the fashion we all use in thinking, and to set down the thing that comes into his mind without fear or favor of the thing that went before or the thing that may be about to follow.
This method served him best after he had conjured up characters from long ago, who on coming to life wrote the narrative for him, passing from incident to incident with a grace their creator could never achieve in manipulating an artificial plot. In travel books and other autobiography written under the heat of recent experience, Mark Twain seemingly put in everything, mixing the trivial, inane, and farcical with his best-grade ore. But in the remembrance of things past, time had dissolved the alloy, leaving only gold. The nostalgia for a youth's paradise "over the hills and far away," for the fast-vanishing freedom of the West, appealed deeply to the age of boyhood sentiment enriched by Longfellow and Whittier. It also led to Mark Twain's strength; namely, the world of the senses and physical action. What he felt was always better expressed than what he had thought or speculated about. A boy's world freed him from those economic and political perplexities, adult dilemmas and introspections, where in rages and knotty casuistries he lost the sureness o touch that came to him through the report of his five senses or through the championship of justice when the issue was as simple as the conflict between bullies and little folk.
Jan his heart Mark Twain must have realized that essentially he was a man feeling, too sensitive to serve merely as a comedian, too undisciplined to philosopher he sometimes fancied himself. His forte was to recapture "his sheer joy of living, when to be young was very heaven. A great river flowing through the wilderness set the stage for a boy's own dream of selfefficiency, of being a new Robinson Crusoe on Jackson's Island. In the background moved the pageantry of life, colored by humor, make-believe, and melodrama; but the complexity of the machine age and the city lay far, far away.
Mark Twain did not write his first books about this dream world, but let he haze of ideality collect about it, reserving it luckily for the high noon of his powers. Apparently the first hint oЈ this motif comes in one of his New ' York letters to the Alta California, in the spring of 1867, in which he happens to recall the town drunkard of Hannibal, Jimmy Finn (destined to return as Huck's father), and also the Cadets of Temperance which Sam Clemens joined in order to march in funeral processions wearing their red scarf. This latter incident crops up in Tom Sawyer. Shortly afterward in The Innocents, among the pleasures and palaces of Europe, Twain interpolated other boyhood memories. In February, 1870, on receiving a letter from his "first, and oldest and dearest friend" Will Bowen, one of the flesh-and-blood components of Tom Sawyer, he sat down under the spell of the past and wrote a reply calling up some eight scenes which later appear in Tom Sawyer and Hackle-berry Finn. Around this time he wrote a nameless sketch about a romantic lovesick swain who beyond question is Tom Sawyer. Designated as "Boy's Manuscript" by Twain's first editor, Albert Bigelow Paine, it was not pub-lished until 1942 in Bernard De Veto's Mark Twain at Wolf. Some four years later Twain made a fresh start, scrapping the earlier diary form in favor of third-person narrative. By midsummer, 1875, it was done, and off the press late in the next year (a few months after Clemens with his usual inconsistency had written Will Bowen a stern letter on August 31, 1876, bidding him dwell no more in the sentimental never-never land of boyhood, denying that the past holds anything "worth pickling for present or future use"). In this latter year Twain began Huckleberry Finn as a sequel, laid it aside during six years, went back to the story after his visit to Hannibal in 1882, and bushed it a little over two years later.
The first reader of Tom Sawyer, William Dean Howells, disagreed with the author that he had written a book for adults only. He quickly persuaded twain that it was primarily a story for boys, which would gad over their shoulder. Twain therefore withdrew a few gibes against Sunday schools and turned several phrases that smacked of backwoods frank-ness. Nothing of importance, however, was altered, nor did Tom suffer from transformation into the neat, obedient paragon which fiction for the so long had held up to their resentful gaze. The first chapter announces the Tom "was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy well though -- and loathed him." The only resemblance Tom bears to t-K fictional creations of his time is in sensibility: he yields to self-pity relish every neighborhood tear shed over his supposed drowning, and almost fail upon hearing that even a villain like Injun Joe has been sealed in the ca Otherwise, our hero is of very different mettle. He steals from and Aunt Folly luxuriates in idleness, missives in church, huffs and like his friend Huck employs lying as protective coloration in a world of adult tyrants. Consequently, in some American homes the new book was read by grown-ups, then tucked away out of a boy's reach; its successor Huckleberry Finn, soon after publication was ejected from the town library of Concord, Massachusetts (where, a generation before, John Brown had been welcomed by Thoreau and Emerson), because Huck elected to "go to Hell" rather than betray his friend, a runaway Negro.
In 1870 Thomas Bailey Aldrich had published his mild Story of a Bad Boy; Mark Twain. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court M. Drofa 2003 p.134, 163, 222, 267 twenty years later Twain's friend Hovels would reminisce of adolescents not too bright or good for human nature's daily food in A Boy's Town; a little later came Stephen Crane's recollections of Whilom Ville and William Alien White's of Bayville. They helped maintain the tradition of realism. In extreme recoil from priggishness, a line beginning with Peck's Bad Boy in 1883 flaunted incorrigibility above all. It is possible to overstress the picaresque intent of Tom Sawyer in turning upside down the world of Peter Parley and the Rolla books, or its analogues with that still greater novel, Cervantes' Don Quixote, in which some critics find the model of Tom the dreamer and Huck his commonsense henchman. Mark Twain's verisimilitude should not be overlooked in this search for "purpose." He wrote about boys from having been one in the Gilded Age, in a river town before the war.
To a stranger in 1887 he described this book as "simply a hymn, put into prose form to give it a worldly air." These lads no more resemble Peck's Bad Boy than they do the model children of that improving story-teller, Jacob Abbott. Within a framework of superb dialogue and setting, of sensitive perceptions that turn now and again into poetry, against a background where flicker shadows of adult humanitarianism and irony, Tom and Huck grow visibly as we follow them. The pranks and make-believe of early chapters-whitewashing the fence, releasing a pinch bug in church, playing pirate in Tom Sawyer, and in its sequel the rout of a Sunday school picnic under the guise of attacking a desert caravan -- are dimmed as the human values deepen and occasional moral issues appear. The Tom who takes Becky's punishment in school, and testifies for the innocent Muff Potter at risk of the murderer revenge, parallels the development of Huck from a happy-golucky gamine epitome of generosity and loyalty.
6.2 “Huckleberry Finn” as the most significant work
Mark Twain makes no account of consistencies in time. His boys vary between the attitudes of nine-year-ids and those of thirteen or fourteen, despite the fact that Tom Sawyer 's time is one Missouri summer, and that of Huckleberry Finn a few more broken months. Like the creator of perennial comic-strip characters, Twain syncopates the march of time as he pleases. In the latter novel he also ignores the fact that Nigger Jim could have escaped by swimming across to the free soil of Illinois early in the book, and commits other sins against literalism which he would have ridiculed unmercifully in the pages of his noire James Fennimore Cooper.
Huckleberry Finn is clearly the finer book, showing a more mature point of view and exploring richer strata of human experience. A joy forever, it is unquestionably one of the masterpieces of American and of world literature. Here Twain returned to his first idea of having the chief actor tell the story, with better results. Huck's speech is saltier than Tom's, his mind freer from the claptrap of romance and sophistication. Huck is poised midway between the town-bred Tom and that scion of wood lore and primitive superstition Nigger Jim, toward whom Huck with his margin of superior worldliness stands in somewhat the same relation that Tom stands toward Huck. When Tom and Huck are together, our sympathy turns invariably toward the latter. A homeless river rat, cheerful in his rags, suspicious of every attempt to civilize him, Huck has none of the unimportant virtues and all the essential ones. The school of hard knocks has taught him skepticism, horse sense, and a tenacious grasp on reality. But it has not toughened him into cynicism or crime. Nature gave him a stanch and faithful heart, friendly to all underdogs and instantly hostile toward bullies and all shapes of overmastering power. One critic has called him the type of the common folk, sample of the run-of-the-mill democracy in America. Twain himself might have objected to the label, for him once declared "there are no common people, except m the highest spheres of society." Huck always displays frontier neighborliness, even trying to provide a rescue for three murderers dying marooned on a wrecked boat, because "there isn't no telling but I might come to be a murderer myself, yet, and then how would I like it?" Money does not tempt him to betray his friend Nigger Jim, though at times his conscience is troubled by the voice of convention, preaching the sacredness of property -- in the guise of flesh and blood -- and he trembles on the brink of sur-render. Nor can he resist sometimes the provocation offered by Jim's innocent sedulity, only to be cut to the quick when his friend bears with dignity the skivers that his trustfulness has been made game of. Even as Huck surpasses Tom in qualities of courage and heart, so Nigger Jim excels even
Huck in fidelity and innate manliness, to emerge as the book's character.
Sam Clemens himself (who in the first known letter he wrote his on the day he reached New York in August, 1853, Mark Twain. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court M. Drofa 2003 p.134, 163, 222, 267 had indulged the sarcasm, "I reckon I had better black my face, for in these Eastern Stat niggers are considerably better than white people") learned in time, much Huck learns, to face down his condescension. In later years he became warm friend of the Negro and his rights. He paid the way of a near student through Yale as "his part of the reparation due from every white t every black man," and savagely attacked King Leopold of Belgium for the barbarities of his agents in the Congo. Mrs. Clemens once suggested as a mollifying rule to her husband, "Consider everybody colored till he is proved white." Howells thought that as time went on Clemens the South westerner was prone to lose his Southern but cleave to his Western heritage, finding his real affinities with the broader democracy of the frontier. On other issues of race prejudice, Twain looked upon the Jew with unqualified admiration defended the Chinese whom he had seen pelted through the streets of San Francisco, and confessed to only one invincible antipathy, namely, against the French--although his most rhapsodic book was written in praise of their national heroine.
The final draft of Huckleberry Finn was intimately bound up with the writing of Twain's third great volume about his river days, Life on the Mississippi. Fourteen chapters of these recollections had been published in the Atlantic in 1875; before expanding them into a book Twain made a memorable trip in 1882 back to the scenes of his youth. In working more or less simultaneously on both long-unfinished books, he lifted a scene intended for Huckleberry Finn--about Huck and the craftsmen--to flavor the other book, but the great gainer from his trip was not the memoir but the novel. The relative pallor of Life on the Mississippi, Part II, is due in a measure to the fact that so much lifeblood of reminiscence is drained off into the veins of Huckleberry Finn. The travel notes of 1882, written up soon after Twain s return home, are suffused with some of the finest situations in his novel: the Grangerford-Shepherdson feud, Colonel Sherborn and the mob, and the two seedy vagabonds who come on-stage as the Duke and the King, with a posse in their wake, who "said they hadn't been doing nothing, and was being chased for it."
Mark Twain's renewed contact with life among the river towns quickened his sense of realism. For Huckleberry Finn, save in its passages about the peace and freedom of Jackson's Island, is no longer "simply a hymn," and so dim has grown the dream of adolescent romancing that Becky Tactic reappears but perfunctorily under the careless label of "Bessie" Thatcher essay Huck's voyage through the South reveals aspects of life darker than the occasional melodrama of Tom Sawyer. We are shown the and of poor white jack woods loafers with their plug tobacco and Barlow dogs on stray sows and laugh at the fun and look grateful for the noise," or drench a stray cur with turpentine and set him afire. We remark the cowardice of lynching "parties" the chicanery of patent medicine fakers, revivalists, and exploiters of rustic ribaldry; the senseless feedings of he gentry. In the background broods fear: not only a boy's apprehension of -hosts, African superstitions, and the terrors of the night, nor the adults' dread of black insurrection, but the endless implicated strands of robbery, floggings, drowning, and murder. Death by violence lurks at every bend of road or river. Self-preservation becomes the ruling motive, squaring perfectly with the role of the principal characters, Huck the foot-loose orphan and his friend Jim the fugitive--puny in all strengths save loyalty, as they wander among the boots of white adult supremacy. The pair belongs to the immortals of fiction.
"Never keen at self-criticism, Mark Twain passed without soundings from these depths to the adjacent shallows of burlesque and extravaganza. The last fifth of this superb novel, Huckleberry Finn, brings back the romantic Tom Sawyer, with a hilarious, intricate, and needless plot for rescuing Jim from captivity. The story thus closes upon the farcical note with which the Han-nibal cycle has begun, in the whitewashing episode. On the same note many years later Mark Twain tried to revive his most famous characters, in Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), with Tom, Huck, and Jim as passengers of a mad balloonist and their subsequent adventures in Egypt. Though inferior to its great predecessors, this book does not lack humor, gusto, and rich character-ization. Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896) Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn M. Prosveshcheniye 1986 pp.13, 26, 78, 134, 145, 149 dishes up a melodrama of stolen dia-monds, double-crossing thieves, and that immortal device of Plaits and Shakespeare, identical twins, whose charm custom could not stale for Mark Twain. Here haste artifice, and creative fatigue grow painfully apparent.
Uneven quality appears in even though it came at the high tide of his powers. Chapters IV-XVII was written for the Atlantic after Twain's chance reminiscences led his friend twitchily to exclaim, "What a virgin subject to hurl into a magazine!" Fresh, vivid, humorous, they recall the great days of river traffic: the problems of navigation, the races, the pilots' association, the resourcefulness and glory of the old-time pilot. The addenda, which came after Twain's return to the river for "copy," sometimes attain the former standard--the description of Pilot Brown the scold, or the account of the Pennsylvania disaster and Henry Clemens' death--but more prove disappointing after the white heat of the book's inception. The two chapters on the history of the river are merely an afterthought; the later ones too often wander among irrelevant yarns, like the revenge of the Austrian, or vignettes of picturesque New Orleans. Sam Clemens' and a half as cub pilot are followed by almost no mention of his two years as a licensed skipper. Instead we are treated to such vagaries as Twain's famous theory about Sir Walter Scott, whose "Middle-Age sham civilization» he claimed, inspired the chivalry of the Old South, which in turn provoked the Civil War.
Yet with all its flaws of disunity and untidiness, Life on the remains a masterpiece. Its communicable delight in experience, its of the human comedy and tragedy on the river (which Melville alone among great artists had tried to bring into focus in The Confidence Man in 1857) lend it real durability. Howeils believed that the author long regarded it his greatest book -- pleased with assurance to that effect from the German Kaiser and also from a hotel porter, whose praise he accepted with equal satisfaction. In other moods, toward the end of his life, Twain favored Joan of Arc, in part because it cost him "twelve years of preparation and two years of writing. The others needed no preparation, & got none." Thus again he displayed the blindness of self-appraisal. The book that required probably least effort of all, drawn from a brimming native reservoir, Huckleberry Finn, unquestionably is his finest, with Tom Sawyer and Life on the Mississippi as runners-up.
7.2 Later years of Mark Twain
Mark Twain's later years show a drift toward the remote in time and place, in a fitful quest for new themes, new magic--a search that proceeded apace with a growing sense of personal dissatisfaction, frustration, and heartbreak. While the aging artist began to lose much of his creative fire, Clemens the generous, erratic, moody, and vulnerable human being remained, standing at bay against the disillusions and disasters that gathered to ring him around and mock his fame as the world humorist of the century. The development of this last phase is worth tracing.
From recollections of his Hannibal boyhood he gravitated toward a new but distinctly artificial romanticism, "the pageant and fairy-tale" of lire 1° medieval Europe. His earliest treatment of the theme is, The Prince and the Pauper (i88i),history mainly for children, built upon the old plot to taffy. Here to a degree, and still more in Connecticut Yard in King Arthur's Court (1889) and Personal Recollections of Joan of An (1896), the romantic's fascination with knights and castles is counterbalance by the iconoclast's itch to shatter that world of sham and injustice, w crown and miter lorded it over the commons. The savage indignation w Twain so loved to unleash found hunting that gratified him: the prey some resemblance to the contemporary, without committing him to the consequences of a frontal attack upon modern authoritarianism, convention, and orthodoxy. A Connecticut Yankee, best of the cycle, shows just such an ingenious mechanic as Clemens must often have met on visits to the Hartford shops of Pratt & Whitney, a Yankee who is swept back in time to Camelot. With one hand he transforms Arthurian England into a going concern of steam and electricity; with the other, seeks to plant the seeds of equalitarian-ism. He remarks that in feudal society six men out of a thousand cracks the whip over their fellows' backs: "It seemed to me that what the nine hundred and ninety-four dupes needed was a new deal." This passage, as the late President Roosevelt testified, furnished the most memorable phrase in modern American government. The Connecticut Yankee asserts that the mass of a nation can always produce "the material in abundance whereby to govern itself." Yet the medieval mob is shown collectively to be gullible, vicious, invincibly ignorant, like the populace of Hannibal or Hartford, so that the Yankee sets up not a true democracy but a benign dictatorship centering in himself and his mechanical skills--a kind of technocrat's Utopia. Dazzled by the wonders of applied science, Mark Twain always hoped for social as well as technological miracles from the dynamo.
Twain's apotheosis of the Virgin--in terms of Henry Adams' dilemma-- of spiritual forces in conflict with materialism and the stupid cruelty of organized society, appears in Joan of Arc. The Maid was his favorite character in history. But as Twain's imagination is better thankle и т.д.................
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