Uploaded by nimo nimo

intro to mark twain

The Adventures of
Tom Sawyer
By Mark Twain
Mark Twain
When Samuel Langhorne Clemens was
born in November 1835, “Halley’s Comet was
streaking across the sky, a blazing
phenomenon that thrilled the world. During
his life Mark Twain would say that he came in
with Halley’s Comet and that he would go out
with it when it returned after seventy-five
years. He did just that. Mark Twain died in
April 1910, while the comet was blazing its
way across the sun.”
- Jean Craighead George
• Born Samuel Langhorne
Clemens in 1835
• Spent his childhood is
Hannibal, Missouri, a small
frontier town on the
Mississippi River
• Father died when he was
11 years old
• Left school after 5th grade
to work as a printer’s
• At 18, moved to New York and
spent time as a journalist for
various newspapers
• Returned briefly to the
Mississippi River to work as a
riverboat pilot
• Traveled out West in hopes of
striking it rich in Nevada’s silver
• While out West, began
publishing short fiction as well
as travel articles in newspapers
• Adopted the pen
name “Mark Twain” (a
riverboat term) in 1863
• Married Olivia “Livy”
Langdon in 1870
• Moved to Connecticut
in the 1870s
• Had four children, but
son Sam died at 2
years of age
• Published his most famous
works in the 1870s and 80s
• The Adventures of Tom
Sawyer, 1876
• The Prince and the Pauper,
• Life on the Mississippi, 1883
• Adventures of Huckleberry
Finn, 1884
Later Years
• Made several bad
investments in new
inventions, causing financial
• Had to set out on an
international lecture tour to
earn money
• Writings became dark,
focusing on human greed
and cruelty
Twain Sayings
• “Supposing is good, but finding out is better.”
• “The difference between the right word and almost
the right word is the difference between lightning
and the lightning bug.”
• “Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”
• “Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered -either by themselves or by others.”
• “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and
astonish the rest.”
More Twain Sayings
• “The man who does not read good books has no
advantage over the man who cannot read them.”
• “When I was younger I could remember anything,
whether it happened or not.”
• “There are basically two types of people. People
who accomplish things, and people who claim to
have accomplished things. The first group is less
• “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the
majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
• Movement in writing and art in the 1800s
• Writing should reflect real life
• To make Tom Sawyer realistic, Twain uses
– dialect
– local color
– depictions of the good and the bad
• The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is at times a
critical look at Twain’s world, with jabs at
church, school, and the rules of society
Humor and Satire
Look for Twain’s deliberate
attempts at humor through the
following devices:
• Satire: a subtle or biting attack on
accepted institutions, values, and
systems. It can also be directed at
• Hyperbole: exaggerating for effect
• Irony: when what happens is the
opposite of what is expected to
Tom Sawyer
• Most of all, The
Adventures of Tom
Sawyer is a story of
boyhood and growing
• Tom is essentially a
good boy who
sometimes makes
mischief and causes
• No matter what trouble