May 4, 2007 kpfahl21

Outline – Mark Twain Paper

Title: A Blur Between Reality and Fiction

A) Introduction

1)      Thesis: The man born Samuel Clemens and known to most as Mark Twain was able to easily slip between his world of writing and reality in order to create appealing characters, realistic and sometimes controversial relationships. 

B) “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”  Mark Twain. 

1)      Topic Sentence: Samuel Clemens was not always known as Mark Twain, his pen name came about later in life when Clemens wanted a different literary personality.    

2)      Samuel Clemens

a)      Born in
Missouri on November 30, 1935 and moved to
Hannibal a town along the
Mississippi River

b)      Clemens worked on the
Mississippi River from 1859 when he received his steamboat pilot license until 1861 when the American Civil War broke out.  “Origins of the name Mark Twain”  Encyclopedia Britannica.  1994-2007.  Britannica Concise Encyclopedia.  23 April 2007  <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9437511/Origins-of-the-name-Mark-Twain&gt;

3)      When created Mark Twain

a)      “Arguably Mark Twain’s greatest fiction was “Mark Twain.”” – Sam Clemens as Mark Twain http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/sc_as_mt/cathompg.html

b)      Clemens did not create his pen name on his own

(i)      In Chapter 50 of Life on the
Mississippi – he writes that the Captain would sign Mark Twain. 

(ii)    Since taking on the name MT has tried to keep it as the Captain used it; “a sign and symbol and warrant that whatever is found in its company may be gambled on as being the petrified truth…”

C) Transition between Samuel Clemens and Mark Twain

1)      Topic Sentence: The pen name of Mark Twain partially took over Samuel Clemens life as the line between fiction and reality became easy to confuse for the famous author. 

2)      Signatures

a)      It is unsure how Samuel Clemens truly saw himself as – the name he was given or the one he created. Mark Twain: His Marks – http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/sc_as_mt/yrstruly.html

b)      His signatures vary from letter to letter even if written to the same person. 

3)      Letters and communications to friends

a)      “Between 1872 and 1910, for instance, he wrote hundreds of letters to W.D.Howells. He signed most “Yours ever, Mark.” But he signed some “Yours ever, Clemens,” and on others used “Saml. L. Clemens,” “S.L.C,” “S.L.Clemens,” and “Twain” as signatures.” – Mark Twain: His Marks – http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/sc_as_mt/yrstruly.html

D) Using real life

1)      Topic Sentence: Mark Twain used his childhood experiences as Samuel Clemens to create characters and situations, once again blurring the worlds of reality and fiction. 

2)      Easy to draw from SC when writing as MT

3)      Book Illustrations using Mark Twain

a)      Mark Twain appears in many of his books through the illustrations. 

b)      “If the typical 19th-century frontispiece depicted “the author” as someone to be admired, the cartoonish figure of “Mark Twain” who is displayed inside MT’s texts was someone readers could comfortably look down on in amusement.” Illustrating Mark Twain – http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/sc_as_mt/illusmt.html

4)      Tom Sawyer as Samuel Clements

a)      Drew upon his own childhood to come up with the character – Sources and Pre-Texts for Huck Finn – http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/huckfinn/hucksrcs.html

b)      Mark Twain sets up a fictional town for Tom Sawyer, however the experience draws from Samuel Clemens childhood in
Hannibal.  Kaplan, Justin. Mr. Clemens And Mr. Twain: A Biography.
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966.

(i)      When MT began to write Tom Sawyer he wanted to span his entire life and have Tom end up back in the same town and Clements had done during a lecture-tour later in his life. 

c)      “In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Twain had invented the American archetype of the prankish, wildly imaginative boy with a taste for adventure.”  http://www.reason.com/news/show/36203.html Mark Twain vs. Tom Sawyer, The bold deconstruction of a national icon. Nick Gillespie | February 2006 Print Editiond)      In Tom Sawyer Becky Thatcher asks Tom to draw her a picture he draws a house that the middle class of
America would dream to own. “The evidence suggests the real “artist” was not Treat Williams, who drew the other illustrations in Tom Sawyer, but MT himself. Despite the comic flavor of Tom’s drawing, there’s no question that Sam Clemens shared Tom’s belief that a big house could make a man feel big too. Even as he wrote Tom Sawyer, he was mortgaging his future as a writer to the expense of constructing and maintaining the mansion he was building in Nook Farm, the very exclusive neighborhood in
Hartford he moved his family to in 1874.” A Good House – http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/sc_as_mt/househp.html

5)      Huckleberry Finn continuing the story

a)      “You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.’ But that ain’t no matter.”  Huckleberry Finn

b)      In Huck Finn, “Twain not only forces his readers to re-evaluate a national icon, he embodies the American dialectic.”  The bold deconstruction of a national icon.  Nick Gillespie Reason Feb 2006. 

c)      Best known work by Mark Twain. 

E) Conclusion

1)      “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” Mark Twain Wise wisecracks from a great wit, Mark Twain – for the people – Insight on the News,  Dec 10, 2001  by Stephen Goode 


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