As Mark Twain wrote, Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable accusation. But I had lost something, too. Mark Twain starts to describe his love for the Mississippi River as well as describe the dangers that lie within it, through meanings and values, using different diction and vocabulary, as well as using expository techniques.
In Mark Twain’s Two Ways of Seeing a River he starts off by telling his story in a first-person point of view. In the first paragraph Mark Twain start’s off by expressing how appealing the Mississippi River is to him, which is primarily subjective as his feelings are being exploited. As he continues into the second paragraph Mark Twain, continues to express how he was completely enchanted by the sunset, then shifts his point of view with using the word But in the third sentence to begin expressing how he sees the river now.
This shift is important to Mark Twain’s contrast because it gives his readers a better understanding on how he feels now after working on the river for years and has more experience and knowledge on the river, as to before when he only saw it for its beauty and romance but not for what the river entailed. Mark Twain’s tone begins to bring out a theme of reminiscence and wishes he could see the river in a more exciting way than just for what it was and that is a river.
Verb usage is also used and changes in the shift when describing the Mississippi River, at one point he was more alive, more excited about talking about the river, but then he switches to describing it in a very bland tone which helps transition the audience between his conflict of remembering a feeling & being a part of a moment as he describes the river. Throughout the second paragraph, Mark Twain is describing the river for how it actually is as well as how he wishes it was and that shows off both subjective and objective views he also uses his emotional connections to display to the audience the contrast between his youth and his new mature view on the river. In the last sentence Mark Twain uses doctors to develop his final idea, he uses this as metaphor to show an external view of his point.
As Mark Twain ends the second paragraph he uses colloquialism to describe the things he is seeing and what they mean to him in the Mississippi River. This technique he uses and the way he describes all of this would have been inappropriate if used in the first paragraph as he is describing the differences and harshness of the river as he sees it now. If Mark Twain would have used this sentence in the very first paragraph without giving details as he did, then the full background on the point he was trying to describe and get across would not have been accomplished. Mark Twain uses different metaphors in his second paragraph such as boils’ and break’ to describe what was going on in the water of the river and how dangerous it is for him and the men on the steamboat. The difference between them was justified as Mark Twain continues to describe the harshness of the river.
In the third paragraph Mark Twain uses a second comparison when he begins to talk about the doctor diagnosing a fever because seeing a woman’s rosy cheeks vs. seeing a beautiful woman. Mark Twain uses this comparison externally to get his readers to understand how he truly feels about the river. Mark Twain uses this as more of an analogy to help amplify his point.
The strategies Mark Twain used to organize his overall conflicting thoughts was broken down into two clear points, how he once saw the river and how he now sees the river. Mark Twain uses repetition and rhetorical questions to show the shift between maturity and youth as well as add emphasis to his point. He also uses a poetic style and uses more symbolism to explain his thoughts rather than just using plain words that don’t show enough meaning.
In conclusion, Mark Twains Two Ways of Seeing a River essay he starts to describe his love for the Mississippi River as well as describe the dangers that lie within it, through meanings and values, using different diction and vocabulary, as well as using expository techniques.
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