Mark Twain Is Undisputedly Term Paper

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SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
.. [Chapter 58]

In the Innocents, the narrator is presented as a naive explorer who turns into a skeptic by the end of the book. Twain couldn't possibly believe that someone would create such exquisitely romantic pictures of Europe and its numerous sights when in reality they were less than ordinary. For example Twain's visit to the Sea of Galilee made Twain lash out at other visitors who give birth to all those myths about the Sea. He found it to be "a lake six miles wide and neutral in color; with steep green banks, unrelieved by shrubbery; at one end bare, unsightly rocks, with (almost) invisible holes in them of no consequence to the picture; eastward, 'wild and desolate mountains' (low, desolate hills, he [William C. Grimes] should have said); in the north a mountain called Hermon, with snow on it; peculiarity of the picture, 'calmness'; its prominent feature, one tree." And then adds, "No ingenuity could make such a picture beautiful -- to one's actual vision" (chapter 48).

Innocents still presents a balanced view of Europe for while the author attacks many places for their sad reality, he also tries to give a more pleasing account here and there. The views do not conflict because he creates the pleasing picture in a way that makes the disappointing reality easy to bear and puts the latter in context.

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'A tramp abroad' on the other hand suffers from many weaknesses, the most prominent being its lack of structure. There is no clear design or plan that the author could follow through. The book is a series of chapters narrating author's experiences as he traveled with Mr. Harris in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. What made it different from Innocents were its three themes which were not always followed but nonetheless gave book some spine. The first was exploring Europe on foot which was not the case in the Innocents. Secondly, the author also wanted to learn something about European art and thirdly, he wanted to learn German language at which he failed miserably.

Term Paper on Mark Twain Is Undisputedly One Assignment

Unlike Innocents, Tramp is anything but spontaneously witty. The humor appears 'forced' at most occasions and the author's reputation as a humorist often clouds his ability to make an unbiased observation. In Chapter 44 for example, the narrator along with Mr. Harris observe the view from Mount Blank by telescope: "the grand professional summits of the Cisalpine Cordillera, drowned in a sensuous haze; to the east loomed the colossal masses of the Yodelhorn, the Fuddlehorn, and the Dinnerhorn...." The parody and exaggerated remarks give the book an aura of artificiality which was something we never encounter while reading the Innocents. Even Twain himself admitted this when he said to Twichell: "I have made the burlesque of Alp-climbing prodigiously loud, but I guess I will leave it so." [1]. Even his biographer Albert Bigelow Paine had to acknowledge that in A Tramp abroad, "very often he does not laugh heartily and sincerely at all, but finds his humor in extravagant burlesque." [2]

The chapter on German language entitled "The Awful German Language" is where we see the real Twain again. He learned that there were Americans who bought the mythological image of Germany and its language. He sympathized with the Californian who said that "he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective," and couldn't help agreeing with another student who felt that "the only word in the whole language whose sound was sweet and precious to his lacerated spirit": damit. But later Twain observed that when "he learned that the emphasis was not on the first syllable, his only stay and support was gone, and he faded away and died." Twain offers to modify and improve the language which shows us the author at his best.

All in all, the two books have few similarities and many differences. 'Innocents' is far ahead of Tramp on all counts including structure, humor, quality and sincerity of expression. Tramp does have traces of brilliance but they are few and far between. Its loose hold on the themes is what makes it a lesser known work of Twain compared to Innocents that is still one of the most widely read travelogues.

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