Figurative Language In Mark Twain's Two Views Of The Mississippi

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Mark Twain 's writing "Two Views of the Mississippi" is the epitome of an author loading his words in such a way that the reader can form vivid images of both what Twain actually saw and experienced, but also what the reader wants to see for themselves. The great thing about this piece is that every single one of us readers will see something completely different, every word will strike a different bell in our minds. Twain achieves this effect by using copious amounts of figurative language throughout the piece. This forces us to use our senses to pick up on both the direct meaning of the language and the deeper meaning expressed by Twain through this figurative language. Without the use of this rhetorical device we simply would not understand …show more content…
telling us that he "drank the sight" in. He uses this idiom of drinking the sight in to show us that he was taking in this sunset with all of his senses and receiving the feeling of bliss in his mind. After this it appears that Twain knows he is losing the innocence and beauty that the river has to offer. He says that he ceases to see the beauty of the river anymore saying that all of the things he once noticed as beautiful and distinguishable on the river were now signs of trouble and dread. Stating that the little ripples in the water were now a sign of a reef that would destroy his boat, the log was now a sign of rising waters, and lastly that this beautiful sunset which he once held dearly was now a sign of wind in the following day. He once again personifies the river by saying that the river has a face that is beautiful when the light of the sun and moon shine on it. This opinion had switched abruptly when the day had come where Twain had grown completely numb to the beauties that the Mississippi had to offer. He began seeing all of the beauties in a non-adolescent way. Twain also sees a snag that he says will fish for steamboats and destroy them, but snags are just sharp branches or logs and have no real power to fish. Twain had become so educated and infatuated with his profession that he no longer could see the good in the river but only the bad. He talks about these …show more content…
Twain flat out tells us that the beauty and romance were completely stripped from the river for him, making it just like any other body of water he would travel. Then he goes on and talks about the same features he talked about in the previous sections of the excerpts. The features he mentions now seem to actually have a very valuable meaning to them whereas when he mentioned them earlier in this piece they were only trifling and insignificant. This is paradoxical because Twain is saying the the insignificant features are very significant; that they hold a value. He says that they are useless but also that he needs these useless features to have a safe passing on the Mississippi river. He takes this now bitter view of the river and changes it to a sort of denial. He is in denial that he lost his innocence at the hands of the Mississippi river and the wheel of his steamboat. He compares his desensitization to that of doctors who have to go through years of training and knowledge growth to proceed in their practice. He says that he pities them because they cannot see the beauty of a patient without seeing the horrible disease that is in them or a major flaw that is apparent on their skin. These doctors he speaks of never get to see someone

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