Mark Twain\'s Masterpiece \'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain and his masterpiece
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


A Research Paper
Presented to Mr. Neil
of Chula Vista High School


In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for English 10 Honors/Gate


Id #: 937228
May 16, 1996


I. Samuel Clemens
A. Who he is
B. Where he was born
C. Family

II. How Samuel came to be Mark Twain
A. His working life
B. First writings

III. The Adventures of Huck Finn
A. Story Plot
1. The outside of the book
2. The inside of the book
B. Critics of the book.

IV. Samuel Clemens Downfall
A. Family Life
B. Money Problems
1. Bankruptcy
2. Move to Europe
C. His comeback
D. His death

V. Effects of Twain\'s stories
A. How he affected his era
B. How the era affected his writings

VI. Conclusion
A. My feelings
B. End notes
C. Bibliography

Samuel Clemens was an American writer and humorist who\'s best work is shown
by broad social satire, realism of place and language, and memorable characters.
Clemens was born November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. His family moved to
Hannibal, Mississippi when he was four. There he received a public school education.
Samuel Clemens was a difficult child, given to mischief and mis adventure. He barely
escaped drowning on nine separate occasions. His fathers death was a calamity in which
Samuel was not prepared for. Albert Bigelow Paine, Clemens official biographer, offers
the following glimpse of the young Clemens

"The boy Sam was fairly broken down. Remorse, which always
dealt with him unsparingly, laid a heavy hand on him now. Wildness,
disobedience, indifference to his fathers wishes, all were remembered; a
hundred things, in themselves trifling, became ghastly and heart-wringing
in the knowledge that could never be undone. Seeing his grief, his mother
took him by the hand and led him into where his father lay."
"It\'s all right, Sammy," she said. "What\'s done is done, and it
does not matter to him anymore; but here by the side of him now I want
you to promise to me-"
He turned, his eyes streaming with tears, and flung himself into
her arms.
"I will promise anything ," he sobbed, "if you won\'t make me go
to school! Anything!
His mother held him for a moment, thinking, then she said:
"No, Sammy; you need not go to school anymore. Only promise
to be a better boy. Promise not to break my heart."

After his fathers death, Clemens got a hold of two Hannibal printers, and in 1851
began setting type and contributing articles to his brothers newspaper, The Hannibal
Journal. After leaving his first job he took his printers and became a journeyman printer
in Keokuk, Iowa, New York City, Philadelphia, and other cities, and then a steamboat
pilot until the break out of the American Civil War which brought end to traveling on the
river. After a failed attempt at silver mining in 1862 he became a reporter on the
Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, and later in 1863 began signing his articles
with the pseudonym "Mark Twain," a Mississippi River phrase meaning two fathoms
deep. After the move to San Francisco in 1864, Twain met the writers Artmeus Ward and
Bret Harte, who encouraged him on his work. In 1865 Twain rewrote a tail he heard in
the California gold fields and within months the author and the story, "The Celebrated
Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," had become a national sensation.
In later years Twain visited Europe and the Holy Lands which he wrote about in
the book, "The Innocents Abroad," which was published in 1869. This book discussed
those aspects of the Old World culture which impress American tourists. 1870 is the year
in which he married his loving wife Olivia Langdon. After a short time in Buffalo the
newlywed couple moved to Hartford, Connecticut. In the years between 1870 and 1880
much of Twains best work was written. The book Roughing It recalls his early
experiences as a minor and a journalist; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a book
celebrating boyhood in a town on the Mississippi River, was published in 1867; A Tramp
Abroad, published in 1880, describes a walking trip through the Black Forest of Germany