An Author And His Work A Kid

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An Author And His Work: A Kid In King Arthur’s Court Essay, Research Paper An Author and His Work :A Kid in King Arther’s Court May 26, 1999 Research Term Paper An Author and His Work Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens to John Marshal Clemens and Jane Lampton Clemens. He was born on November 30, 1835 in a small city called Florida, Missouri, which had a population of one hundred people. “I increased the population by one percent,” he said. “It is more than many of the best men in history could have done for a town?” (Cox, 7) Samuel, however did not live most of his life in Florida, but moved around throughout his life. His family moved to Hannibal, MO when he was four years old and that was where he went to school. For the reason that there were no

public schools in Hannibal at the time, Sam was sent to a private school taught by Mrs. Horr. He had to leave this school at twelve years of age when his father died. There wasn’t much money left to support the Clemens after John Clemens died so Sam was forced to be apprenticed to Joseph Ament. Ament owned a print shop and a newspaper called Hannibal Courier. Here was where Sam would cut the last strings connecting him to his childhood and become much of an adult. The apprenticeship led Samuel to fame and fortune in the future and opened his eyes to the world of literature. (Cox, 23) The death of Samuel’s father had a strong effect on him. Although he wasn’t very close to John, Sam felt guilt that he hadn’t been a better son to his father and promised his mother at the

side of John’s body not to brake her heart and to be a “better boy.” (Cox, 23) His time spent in Ament’s shop was not paid, but he was fed and clothed. He learned to set type and sometimes worked as reporter or assistant editor. Clemens found a great interest in reading during this time and he truly read everything he could get his hands on. He also began enjoying reading a large amount of history. Being brought up in a family of slaveholders, Clemens experienced a lot of brutality and injustice toward slaves. He was taught that it was completely normal and legal for white men to kill “niggers” over an awkwardly done job and he didn’t argue. However, as a little boy, he felt inside that what his father did was wrong and immoral. Many incidents and adventures with

slaves that young Sam witnessed wound up in his books decades later. Clemens left Ament’s shop and went to work with Orion, his older brother, in 1851. His brother offered to pay three and a half-dollars a week but money never seemed to be around. Orion owned a newspaper called the Hannibal Journal and he hired both Sam and his younger brother Henry to be typesetters. However, Sam did more than typeset for Orion. He also wrote for the Journal occasionally. Usually he wrote humorous sketches, but sometimes he also wrote satirical stories, local news reports, and poetry. Samuel first used the pen name Mark Twain for his letters published in the Virginia City, Territorial Enterprise in 1863. Mark Twain is a steamboater’s term meaning 2 fathoms or 12 feet of water. Samuel’s

childhood was probably where many of his ideas and stories all originated. He used his adventures as a boy in many novels, such as Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi, and many others. There was an adventure everyday during his life in Hannibal and his friends were just as mischievous as Sam was. The novel A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court was strongly influenced by Mark Twain’s life. It showed the battle that was happening inside Twain between his different feelings for slavery. It also showed Mark’s hate towards any sort of authority. (Cox, 169) This was probably provoked by his early days with his slaveholding family. He saw many times as a child what “authority” could do to innocent souls and it stayed in his heart for many decades. The Civil War