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Mark Twain the Mirror of America Essay

Mark Twain who is well known for his master-pieces like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, in which he used his extraordinary writing techniques thus combining rich humor, sturdy narrative and social criticism, plays a vital role in the history of American Literature. The reason why the author regarded him as a mirror of America was not only because of the true and vivid description and representation in his pieces, but for his extensive and abound life experience, including various people he had met on the steamboat, things he had heard during his early life.

In the text, the writer used a word ‘cosmic’ to describe the wide range of people Mark Twain met on the steamboat. As for the theme of the text, from the steamboat on the Mississippi to the development of railway later, from the gold rush to the civil war, the writer has grabbed the trace of Mark Twain’s life experience and connect it to big transitions of American society at the same period of time. As a young country, America has witnessed several events that are powerful enough to leave significant influence to the development of the country. Mark got involved in them and created them in his books.

When read his works, we can review the history of that period at the same time. Through various occupations Mark Twain had engaged, he accumulated a rich knowledge of the society, which later lively reappeared on the pages of his works. I doubt that if hadn’t been for the abundant personal experience, there couldn’t be a perfect Mark Twain. Quite coincidently Moyan who have just the Nobel Prize in literature also mentioned in his banquet speech that his childhood experience out of school had played a vital role in his works, many characters including himself had been crafted in artistic ways.

We can see how important the early experience plays in the creating of literature. In a nut shell, the first part of the text’s theme is that Mark’s life experiences and works are a reflection of American society at that time Besides the colorful experience of Mark Twain, the duel character of him are also worth talking about, since the great master is famous for his humor and criticism, people may regard him as the same sort of person, with humor or sometimes with a bit of sarcasm, however, the fact is widely divergent, if we reflect the overview of his family, only three of his brothers and isters survived from tragedies, which would leave an indelible impression on Mark Twain.

What we do not often see is the cynical, bitter and unhappy side of him. The structure of the text is rather easy, with 22 paragraphs mainly divided into 4 parts. The first part consist only one paragraph, which serves as a general introduction to the text, through which we will have a glimpse of the great master of American literature who has both positive and negative character. The next six paragraphs depict the life routine of Mark Twain,in which he witnessed the development of the new country.

The next 11 paragraphs focused on the reason why Mark turned his attention to writing, and it’s from writing rather that chasing the gold that made his name all around the world. The final part works in concert with the first paragraph, mention the reason why Mark Twain has another side of bitterness and cynical. In conclusion, this passage gives us a brief introduction of Mark Twain’s life routine and an unknown dark side of his character. And from the master’s life routine, reflects the history of America.


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