The Man on the Mississippi Essay

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The Civil War era was a time that tried men’s souls. The constant reminder of segregation and negativity. During this time however, many of America’s greatest authors where formed. One being Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Most recognize him as Mark Twain, but some see him as the greatest writer in literary history. Mark Twain became a prominent writer around the time of the Civil War. Him living in the “South” had a big impact on his vocabulary and writing style. Mark at one point even commanded his own regiment for the Confederacy (Mark Twain Biography). In the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, one major influence that reoccurs is what we would call now as racism. Throughout the book, Twain uses the word “nigger” to describe black slaves (Mark Twain The Adventures). This added character and flavor to his books and this also shows the difference in time and location compared to today’s novelists. During this social period, a new popular writing style known as realism was becoming more prevalent. The use of this style limited “beating around the bush” and intense or deep topics and this allowed the authors to open up more. Other authors that used this style who are also well known are Stephen Crane and Jack London. This time period greatly impacted Twain and sculpted him into the author we know and love today. Samuel Langhorne Clemens grew up in what we call the “South”. He was born in Florida, Missouri in 1835. When he was four, his father uprooted the family and resettled them along the banks of the Mississippi River in Hannibal, Mississippi. Twain would later refer to this town in his novels as “St. Petersburg” in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain - Biography and Works). The freedom he experienced as a boy and young adult led to his realism writing style and other characteristics. Twains first writing opportunity

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