Mark Twain's Life On The Mississippi: Literary Analysis

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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, whom later became Mark Twain was born in the backwoods of Missouri. Due to the failure of his father’s store, Twain along with his family moved to Mississippi, which later became the setting for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as well as Life on the Mississippi. His father’s death at the age of twelve pushed Twain into working in order to provide for his family. His first job was setting type and editing copy for a newspaper originated by Orion, his older brother. Later, he began working all around as a printer from Mississippi to the east coast. Twain’s love for steamboats on the Mississippi led him to accept the challenge of apprenticing Horace Bixby, which he documented and later became Life on the Mississippi. After …show more content…
Garland depicts, “Wherever the man of the past in literature showed us what he really lived and loved, he moves us. We understand him, and we really feel an interest in him.” Through this point, a reader can analyze that Garland is demonstrating that local color writers include direct life experiences, which allow the readers to relate to them. This can be seen in Twain’s Life on the Mississippi through his use of the direct life experience of apprenticing Bixby to become a steamboat pilot. Twain shows us “what he really lived” by demonstrating his struggle of learning the shape of the river through, “How on earth am I ever going to learn it, then”. Throughout Life on the Mississippi, Twain allows the reader to feel like an interest to him, by allowing them to experience his same journey of struggling and eventually learning the path of the Mississippi River. Garland also demonstrates that wildlife is shown in local color through the stories of Cooper which include, “Wild life from Texas, from Ohio, and From Illinois”. Garland also mentions that Thoreau “prodded about among newly discovered wonders” which was the new American literature way of writing about wildlife. Writing about wildlife is clearly shown in Life on the Mississippi through the setting of the Mississippi River, which Twain must learn the path of through his story. Twain uses rhetorical language, which incorporated his regional writing, in order to describe the river by comparing the “broad expanse of the river” to “blood” as well as describing that the shore was “densely wooded”. Furthermore painting a picture for the reader through local color, Twain displays that “the somber shadow that fell from this forest was broken in one place by a long, ruffled trail that shone like silver; and high above the forest wall a clean-stemmed dead tree waved a single

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