Mark Twain

WORDS  386

Mark Twain
It is indisputable that, during his many years of writing, Mark Twain
established himself as a literary genius. It is also indisputable that the
primary reason for his success as an author was his quick wit and sense of
humor. During this nation’s time of political and social division, Twain wrote
about many of the simpler things in life while always showing his humorist side.

His brilliant comedic mind was especially unusual for any popular writer around
during this rough time period in the nation’s history. Mark Twain’s humorist
views and writings truly solidify him as the forefather of American humor.

Unlike many writers of his time, Samuel Clemens, better known as his pen name,

Mark Twain never secluded himself or slaved over a piece of work. He enjoyed
playing billiards or sitting on his porch, smoking a pipe. He lived with his
wife and three daughters, and did most of writing in his billiards room or on
his bed. He lived a simple, casual life, which proved to encourage his laidback,
humorist attitude. (Whipple, Sally) William Dean Howells once compared Twain’s
lifestyle to the other famous writers of his time. "Emerson, Longfellow,

Lowell, Holmes... they were like one another and like other literary men; but

Clemens was sole, incomparable." (Twainweb) This being Jones 2 perhaps the
best explanation for Twain’s unique humorist views, it is no doubt this
lifestyle provided for his creative storytelling and successful career as an
author. Mark Twain, a native of Missouri who lived most his childhood in
poverty, began his career, surprisingly, as a steamboat pilot. This career path
was soon to be interrupted by the Civil War, in which he served for the

Confederate Army for two weeks before withdrawing. Already at this point in his
life, Twain was showing his humorist side when he commented on this incident
saying, " was my retirement from it that brought the crash. It left the

Confederate side too weak." (Ayers, 42) After the Civil War, Twain began his
career as a journalist. He bounced from one city to another, including a stay at

Virginia City, Nevada and San Francisco. While in San Francisco, Twain wrote The

Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, his first nationally acclaimed
work. This tale of young boys and frog races combined the themes of youth and
humor, a combination he would revisit frequently. (Budd, 32) Finally, in 1869,

Twain’s first book, The Innocents Abroad, was published and released. This
story provide...

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