Please respond to both discussion post. Each post needs to be 100 words .
When I think of Mark Twain I recall how much I enjoyed reading his books when I was a youth. What I found so appealing was that he took me to a world that was both foreign and familiar. In Tom Sawyer andHuckleberry Finn, it was about boys having the same worries and desires that all of us had over one hundred years later. The difference was that he transported us to that other time. He was so good at his characters, dialogue and description that I recall being able to visualize everything from the painted fence to Injun Joe showing in a cave. All of these scenes were described in meticulous detail from boyhood memories in St. Joseph, Missouri. His memories, accurate or not, revealed a world different from our own that included slavery, primitive living conditions, and mores completely different from what we see today. I believe that is what makes Mark Twain so much a part of American literature.
The character of Mark Twain has also fascinated me. I was fortunate enough to see Hal Holbrook?s portrayal of Mark Twain on Broadway in the 1970?s. I had already read the books and to see Holbrook bring Mark Twain to life, with the make-up, white suit, and cigar, delivering monologues made my own interest in Mark Twain increase.
I think one of the reasons that he has endured for so long as opposed to other writers, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne or Washington Irving, is that while Mark Twain?s stories are from a previous time, he makes them very relatable to modern audiences.
I can’t really say why Mark Twain is such a part of American society and culture. I have no experience reading any of his works. Also, my parents are immigrants so the typical Americana ethos was not a part of my upbringing. Regardless, I?ve always been aware of who is and the characters in his novels that are interspersed throughout the American culture. Even Disney has two themed rides related to him; the Mark Twain River Boat in Disneyland, CA and Tom Sawyer Island inDisneyworld, FL.
In addition to knowing some of his more famous protagonists, his wit is something I?ve heard a lot about. One of my favorite quotes that is attributed to Twain is ?Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please?. This is one of the reasons I want to read his writings and why I decided to take this class. I want to know more about Mark Twain and understand why he has such a presence in American culture. I also really enjoy writers who have a unique way to turn a phrase or use language. This is why I love reading Charles Dickens and P.G. Wodehouse. From the quotes I?ve read from Twain, he seems to have the same distinctiveness with the written word. Finally, I was encouraged that I made the right decision in taking this class after reading the introduction of our text. The author, Victor Doyno, presents Mark Twain, or Samuel Clemens, as a skeptic who enjoyed telling tall tales specifically so he can watch ?should doubt across? (Doyno, 1995, pg. 7) the listener?s face. The introduction showed me that Twain liked to question everything and quite a jokester.
Doyno, V. (1995). Mark Twain ? Selected Writings of an American Skeptic. Amherst, NY. Prometheus Books.