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Samuel Langhorne Clemens whose pen name is Mark Twain was born in 1835 Florida, Missouri. For the first 10 years of his life, he was very weak as he was born prematurely and he had six siblings making him seven. As he was not fit, he used to stay indoors with his mother and was mostly pampered. After some years, they moved to Hannibal Missouri because their family’s fortune started to diminish and they were falling into poverty. However, his father believed that his property in Tennessee might bring fortune to them. The town he grew, Hannibal, is known to be sometimes one of the most violent towns. In his childhood, he found many unsettling things happening in his town such as he found his corpse lying in his father’s office and his father was known to be as the “Justice of Peace”. One day he saw a man to be murdered in the street. His childhood was quite traumatic as he found a corpse in his father’s office, man being murdered, family slave to be brutally beaten, and watched a friend drown. However, this town was an enjoyable place and the outdoor activities were one of his favorite and they were even a part of his writing such as Glasscock’s Island and McDowell’s Clave. During summer he visited and stayed with his uncle who was living in Florida, Missouri. There he listened to the stories narrated by the slave Uncle Daniel.
One of the things that I found interesting while writing this essay is his youth which contains disturbing realities in Florida. His family believed that he has the ability to perceive future or distant event because one day he sleepwalked to his sister’s room and lifted up her cover’s edge which was assumed to be a sign of superstitious. Mark Twain worked at several odd jobs in town from a newspaper job to work for printing shops to writing.
The other thing that I found interesting is his scheme to travel in a steamboat to South America but this scheme was dropped as he wanted to take the apprenticeship to become the pilot of the steamboat and he loved that job. This is the period where he got his pen name from the senior pilot. After some years, he met the love of his life, Olivia, and got married and after that he published various novels on American literature such as The Gilded Age, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn’s autobiography which was one of the masterpieces made by by Mark Twain. Then he moved to Europe along with his family and published more novels such as A Trump Aboard and The Prince and the Pauper. Later in his life, he started to make bad investments which got him into huge debts and was declared bankruptcy in 1894. After that, a lot of tragedies occurred in his life and slowly his family started to get diseases and after some time they too died living him with his daughter Jean. But after some years she too died and left him in despair. He knew that he was also going to die soon so he wrote an autobiography.
Mark Twain is known to be one of the most inspiring American Novelists as he published books mainly on American Literature. The last thing that I found interesting is that in most of his novels we can see some parts are influenced by his childhood and youth experiences. At a very young age, he started to support his family and after some years he became one of the successful writers. Although we have known him about Realism in his novels, I would like to know more about this topic.
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