Mark Twain: Essays Background

Mark Twain: Essays Background

Mark Twain is one of the most famous figures in American literature, and is known for his novels like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. What is not as widely known about him is the surprising amount of essays that he published, most of which were satirical in nature. Remembered for his cunning sense of humor, Twain infused most of his essays with comedy, leaving some (mind you, very few) for serious topics.

One of Twain's popular essays is "The Awful German Language". The title, which couldn't be more self-explanatory, immediately draws readers' attention, letting them question what the piece will be about. In typical Twain fashion, the essay does stick exactly to the title, as he attempts to describe how bad German is. With its complex conjugates and endless parts of speech, Twain gives humorous interjections into what he would do to solve the complexity. At one point, he suggests intermissions between the extraneous words so that people can simply have a break.

Mark Twain was born in 1835 under the name Samuel Clemens, but is more popularly known under his pen name. Twain is very well known for being witty, and infuses much of what he writes with dry humor. Some more of his essays include "How to Tell a Story", "Advice to Youth", "Taming the Bicycle", and "At the Funeral".

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