Mark Twain: The Father of American Literature Essay Example



Samuel Langhorne Clemens famously known as Mark Twain influenced not only American literature but also, American culture. Twain is well known for his classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and, The Innocents Abroad, etc. Mark said;

"Classic."A book which people praise and don't read(twain 1)”.In Twain's seventy-five years of living, he was capable of publishing nineteen works that greatly impacted American culture. Mark Twain was the father of American literature because of his modest upbringing, his writing career and all of his outstanding contributions to literature. However, Twain’s early life significantly influenced him to remain the successful writer he is today. In most of Mark’s literature, he constantly includes something that was related to his childhood. For Instance, in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he was explaining how he grew up on the Mississippi River and all of the adventures that he took and the complications that he faced. Samuel Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835. 

Clemens was the sixth beloved child out of seven siblings and sadly most of his other siblings died in their childhood. His parents were John and Jane Clemens and his father was a storekeeper, lawyer, judge and land speculator and his devoted mother Jane was a housewife. John ended up catching pneumonia when Samuel was eleven and sadly passed from it. Jane had to step into the head of the household and since Jane was only the housewife she wasn't employed, so at age eleven young Sam went out and got employed as a printer's apprentice with the Hannibal Journal. In other words, this experience molded him into the talented and greatly appreciated writer he was. 

Twain published a plethora of remarkable novels, short stories, and even poems! Sam discovered his love for writing when he was working with the Hannibal Journal and from the Journal he went to New York City and Philadelphia and worked at another printing press. All of his experience at the printing press and growing up inspired his classic novels, poems, and short stories. An advantage of him working at the Hannibal Journal was they ended up publishing Mark’s travel letters, and just by publishing them, Twain instantly got so many more incredible opportunities. 

Everyone instantly wanted to publish his letters such as local newspapers and the Sacramento Union. Another extraordinary contribution to society was all of his quotes. Readers typically felt that Twain’s memorable quotes were very inspiring yet comedic and cynical all at the same time! This is presumably why he was the Father of American Literature. Some of his notable quotes included “Do not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well ( twain 2)” and “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything” (twain 3). Lastly, the main way he contributed to American Literature was by publishing two classics that made an impact on many Americans today. The two well know classics were The adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In those beloved classics, Twain is talking about his upbringing on the Mississippi River and all of the unique adventures and stories that he had heard from the slaves.

These novels impacted American literature so much that they are novels read in schools and libraries all over America today. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn profitably sells over 200,000 copies per year and over 20 million copies of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer have been sold worldwide since its been published. On the whole, Mark Twain shaped American literature through his upbringing, writing career, and contributions to society. Twain's hardships, trials, and unimaginable pain that he experienced in his early life undoubtedly made him the accomplished author that he was. Without Mark Twain, readers would be deprived of real-world experiences that Twain accurately portrayed throughout his short stories, successful novels, and remarkable poems. He projected specific instances that typically happened in that time such as racial issues, access to academic education and more. Samuel Clemens helped properly enforce specific problems that occurred in earlier years.