Who is the greatest writer of all time? It’s a broad question, however still to a lot of people, the answer is Samuel Clemens. If you’re not sure who that is, that’s understandable. Maybe the name Mark Twain will ring a bell for you. A writer who through up and downs achieved tremendous writing success. Mark Twain, has contributed a lot to American society through his childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and literary influence.
On November 30, 1885 in Florida Missouri, a boy named Samuel Clemens was born. He was the sixth born of John and Jane Clemens. John Clemens was often described as a very unsmiling man and that he was never actually seen smiling. That vibe could also have been described for Hannibal, the town in which a young Mark Twain lived in.
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Growing up in Hannibal, murder was a consistent seeing in the town. A young Mark Twain Clemens even once witnessed a local man murder a cattle rancher and also witnessed a slave owner brutally murder one of their slaves. Other than the murder, Hannibal overall was considered a decent place to live, with steamboats coming frequently, circuses, and good libraries as well. When Twain was only 12 years old, his father passed away, leaving him to have to drop in order to get a job to help provide for his family. Twain then got a job as an apprentice printer which he made small rations of food before becoming an editor and occasional writer at the age of 15 at the Hannibal Western Union which was owned by his brother Orion.
In 1857 at the age of 21, Twain starting to learn the art of piloting a steamboat on the Mississippi river and became a licensed pilot by 1859. Soon the became a regular job for him as he would pilot boats down the river. Although he loved his job and it paid well he didn’t work there for long as the Civil War stopped a lot of river traffic.
Twain actually joined the Confederate Army but it was only for about two weeks before the unit that he was apart of fell apart. After the war and not going back to his previous job, he wondered where he would work next and be able to enjoy his job and bring it good money. He then decided that he would move west. In July of 1861 he headed to Nevada and California where his main goal was panning for silver and gold where he thought he would be able to become rich. That was the national trend at that time and lots of people were able to end up getting rich that way.
However it did not pan out that way Twain and by mid 1862 he was completely broke and in need of a job. That November he ended up getting a job for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise where did editorials, sketches and different news stories. While he was working there that is when he finally picked up the pen name Mark Twain which actually steamboat slang for 12 feet of water. While working for Virginia City, quicker than most he became a very well-known storyteller in the western side of the country. He had a unique style of writing for his time that drew a lot of readers to his bodies of work. In 1867 Twain took a cruise across the Mediterranean and wrote about humors that he saw and encountered on his cruise for his newspaper. However he really had a goal of making a book out of the trip. The book that came from the trip was The Innocents Abroad and it became a best-seller immedietly. Soon after Twain married 24 year old Olvia Langdon and settled in Buffalo. He felt like most of the country was ran through a variety of different aspects in the east coast, so that is the reason him and his wife settle in the east. Twain and Langdon also had 4 kids.
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer published in 1876. Not long after he began writing was the sequel to that which was Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It was said that writing these stories freed him of the culture in which he lived in and embraced. Although it took years for Twain to write them, those two especially along with many more stories from Twain have become incredible influences on American Literature, and will be forever.
Mark Twain, has contributed a lot to American society through his childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and literary influence. Twain to me changed writing forever, based on his background, where he came from, and his styles of writing. Learning about Twain has taught me to keep working towards what you want no matter what your circumstances are. He went from living a great life, to broke, to living an even greater life than before. Twain no matter what his circumstances were gave it his all. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
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