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MARK TWAIN

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MARK TWAIN A&E Biography notes – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: MARK TWAIN


1
MARK TWAIN
  • AE Biography notes

2
ABOUT HUCK FINN
  • Huck Finn was, and still remains, a controversial
    book
  • NOT a childrens bookadult themes and ideas

3
EARLY YEARS
  • Prankster, rebel, dreamer
  • The Lincoln of American literature
  • 75 years
  • A man of humble origins
  • Despised wealth but always tried to acquire it
  • Defender of the underdog
  • The first modern celebrity
  • Trademark white suit
  • Embodied the best and the worst of America

4
  • Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens
  • Grew up in Hannibal, Missouri
  • Father died when he was 12 quit school to become
    a printers apprentice
  • Traveled to New Orleans in 1857
  • At age 22 began training as a riverboat pilot (a
    steamboatman) on the Mississippi River
  • Became a skilled steamboat pilot
  • The only unfettered and entirely independent
    being on the face of the earth
  • The people (characters) he met on the river later
    became models for his characters
  • Outbreak of Civil War stopped commercial traffic
    on the Mississippi
  • Mark Twain served in the Army for a few weeks
    only

5
  • Sam Clemenss older brother got a job in the new
    Nevada Territory, and Clemens tagged along with
    him to start a new life out west
  • Virginia City was a wild frontier town
  • Took up mining, but was not successful
  • Began storytelling and began his career as a
    newspaper reporter
  • Also began writing fiction (short stories)
  • April 3, 1863 he first used his pen name MARK
    TWAIN (had used others before)
  • MARK TWAIN-from his riverboat pastwater depth
    measurement Mark Twain (two fathoms deepsafe
    water) (Maybe actually from the saloons?)

6
  • The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County
    first successful short story published
  • Left Virginia City (to avoid a duel?) and moved
    to San Francisco
  • Began a journalism career in SF
  • Wrote passionately about the terrible treatment
    of Chinese in SF at the time
  • Afraid of police reprisals, he fled to Angels
    Camp, and then took a voyage to the Sandwich
    islands (Hawaii)
  • Wrote and took notes from this fantastic
    adventure
  • FIRST BEGAN HIS CAREER AS A LECTURER, STORYTELLER
  • He performed in dozens of cities to great acclaim
  • Built a reputation for himself
  • Perfected his comic alter ego

7
  • 1867 Twain moved east.
  • Took a voyage to Europe, met Charles Langdon,
    brother of his future wife, Olivia Langdon.
  • Twain pursued Olivia (Livy) for two years
    before her father would permit her to marry him.
  • HE gave HER zest for life.
  • SHE gave HIM unconditional love AND HER FAMILY
    INTRODUCED HIM TO ABOLITIONIST IDEAS, which he
    eventually adopted passionately
  • INNOCENTS ABROAD first successful book (based on
    his travels with naïve Americans in Europe and
    the Middle East).
  • Made fun of Americans who tried to get cultured
    through fast travels in Europe, and also made fun
    of European pretentions.
  • SUBSCRIPTION BOOK SALES (mass audience
    literaturebooks meant for the masses as
    opposed to targeting the elite)

8
  • THE GUILDED AGE was a book that slammed the
    elite, rich class in America
  • Spoke for ordinary people
  • Twains built a huge, fancy home in Hartford,
    Connecticut
  • Became wealthy and lived the wealthy life,
    even though he despised how the rich behaved
  • POPULISM
  • Twain loved all the new inventions of the time
    (1850s, 1860s)
  • Aware that his name and his image could be
    marketed
  • Did celebrity endorsements of products (sewing
    machines, cigars, medicine elixers, etc.)
  • Twains publishing house saved former president
    U.S. Grant from poverty and economic ruin by
    publishing the presidents memoirs and making his
    family

9
  • 1884 PUBLICATION OF THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY
    FINN
  • A vulgar, uneducated boy tells his own story in
    his own voice A FIRST IN AMERICAN LITERATURE
  • HUCKS TRANSFORMATION TO ANTI-SLAVERY MIRRORED
    TWAINS OWN
  • TWAIN AND OLIVIA RAISED THREE DAUGHTERS
  • Twain was particularly close to his youngest
    daughter Susie.
  • Twains favorite place was QUARRY FARM (in
    Olivias hometown of Elmira, NY)
  • Twain had his own writing studio there and he did
    his best writing there
  • 1880s proved financially disastrous for Twains
  • Forced to declare bankruptcy from a bad
    investments, but publicly declared hes pay back
    all his debts
  • 1884 (60 years old and not in great health)
    around-the-world lecture tour to raise money and
    pay off his debts

10
  • Daughter Susie (left with Olivias family in
    Elmira) died of meningitis while they are gone
  • Olivia returned to New York to bury her never
    returned to the Clemens home in Hartford, CT
  • Even though Twain was perhaps the most famous man
    in the world, his later years were marred by
    personal tragedies.
  • 1904 Olivia died.
  • Showered with tributes in his later years,
    including an honorary degree from Oxford.
  • Mark Twain, the public institution and figure,
    (white suits, gregarious) makes a delightful
    spectacle of himself, but Sam Clemens, the man,
    was a lonely man.
  • Died in 1910
  • I came in with Haleys Comet, and I hope to go
    out with it, as well.
  • -Haleys Comet appeared in both the year he was
    born and the year he died
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