Samuel Clemens based his works on things that occurred throughout
life. He gained many interests and talents while on the Mississippi
River that contributed
to his writings.
Samuel Clemens was born on November
30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He was
two months premature. AT the time
of his birth, Haley's comet was in the sky. Four
years after Clemens was
born, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri. He grew up there
on the Mississippi
River. The river supported some of the happiest moments in his life.
was the fifth child in the family of John and Jane Clemens. The first seven
years ...view middle of the document...
He made important
with important consequences in his life. Clemens persuaded Horace Bixby to
him piloting skills. In 1859, he became a licensed riverboat pilot. During
while he piloted steamboats, he adopted the name Mark Twain in
Virginia City. Mark
Twain was a name meaning two fathoms deep, used on a
Mississippi River steamboat.
(Discovering Authors) Twain first began to
publish under his pen name on February 3,
1863. During the summer, he was
working with the staff of the Virginia City, Nevada,
his career progressed. He removed himself from a humorous
image to express
the view that all motives are selfish. When he became a steamboat pilot
had to learn to be forward with his offers and not polite like his mother raised
During his nights of piloting he discovered his love for astronomy.
In 1861, Twain
served briefly in the Missouri, Militia. His piloting years
ended when the river was closed
down by the war in 1861. He also served in
a Confederate volunteer company for two
weeks. he decided not to be involved
with the war. His brother Orion and he traveled to
Carson City, Nevada in
1861. Through the years of 1861-1862, he was a prospector for
gold in Nevada.
found spiritual uplifting and inspiration through memories on the
On the Mississippi, he learned of the different types of human nature that
be found. (Albert Paine, 82) Twain was skeptical about human society. He
serious view of life, causing him to be viewed as serious and pessimistic.
He was known
as a humorist. Although there was a lot of tragedy in his life
through the poverty and
death of his father, loss of a daughter, and bankruptcy.
Twain was a master of irony,
urging people to see the things they could change
if they tried. He was a very generous
person, but seldom liked to show it.
He had musical talents that were not known by many
people. He could play
the piano, guitar, organ, and could sing. Even though Twain was
trouble and liked adventure, he had good luck at being where interesting
were happening at the right time. He had a skill for quickly observing things.
of Twain's later works was Life on the Mississippi. It tells of the Mississippi
region and things such as the history, sights, people, and legends of the towns
steamboats. Throughout chapters 4 and 17, he recalled his piloting days
very vividly. The
Atlantic Monthly originally contained these chapters as
"Old Times on the Mississippi."
In 1852, Twain did not want to be a writer.
He did not know what he wanted to
do in life, but he found writing to be
easy. He began to write to support his family and to
make a living. He was
good at describing details. Twain could interest the reader by
own ideas and reactions. His imagination is limited with freedom....