He resigned as literary editor in November In January the papers arrived in California on a ten-year loan to the Huntington. By Wecter had published two collections of letters that were not part of the Mark Twain Papers.
But his major project was a definitive biography based largely on these documents, to which he had exclusive access. Partly because of that project, he was disinclined to grant others much access to the papers, and he was opposed to one of DeVoto's projects, a complete collection of Mark Twain's letters, at least until his biography had been published.
In , however, Wecter took a job several hundred miles north of San Marino in the history department of the University of California at Berkeley. Persuasive and courtly Texan that he was, Wecter easily convinced Clara to allow him to take the papers with him to Berkeley. And before the papers even arrived in their new home, Wecter persuaded Clara to bequeath them to UC Berkeley rather than to Yale.
On 20 June she signed a codicil giving ownership of the papers but not their copyright, which the trustees of Clemens's estate retained to the University of California. Almost exactly one year later, on 24 June , Wecter died unexpectedly at age forty-four, having completed only the early years of his projected biography, later published by his widow as Sam Clemens of Hannibal The papers remained in the Berkeley library, without an editor in charge, until , when Henry Nash Smith was persuaded to join the Berkeley English department, and to accept a half-time appointment as Mark Twain's fourth literary editor.
And in that same year he helped negotiate a contract between the trustees of Clemens's estate and the UC Regents, enabling for the first time regular publication of Mark Twain manuscripts contained in the papers. That contract and its renewal in formed the necessary basis for the scholarly edition, published exclusively by the University of California Press.
Eleven months after the contract was signed, on 19 November , Clara Clemens Samossoud died at the age of Clara's death transferred ownership of the papers to the UC Regents. After twenty-five years of wandering from institution to institution they had at last settled down. The death of Clara's daughter, Nina, in was followed almost immediately by the death of Jacques Samossoud, Clara's second husband. All these events made public access to the papers significantly easier than it had ever been before.
Anderson took control of the papers in , just three years before federal grant funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities NEH became available for large editorial projects devoted to major nineteenth-century American authors.
He spent his entire career at the Papers managing the editorial and fiscal needs of a selected edition of them, and starting in an equally ambitious effort to edit the published works. Ever since the papers arrived in , the University has steadily added to them. Original documents have been purchased, or received as gifts, and added to the basic core: Paine, DeVoto, and Wecter had all made efforts to acquire copies of original documents owned by other institutions and private collectors.
But the advent of two scholarly editions and of inexpensive copying technology kicked their comparatively casual practice into higher gear. In , for the first time, truly systematic efforts were made to acquire copies of everything in Mark Twain's hand that was available in public institutions or private collections. The archive was and still is completely open to undergraduates, graduates, and independent scholars, not just to those at work on the two editions.
The archive was very imperfectly organized at the time, and visitors usually had to spend a summer, if not longer, in pursuit of accurate information.
Twain's most fundamental satire encompassed the whole of the human race; works such as "Letters from the Earth" satirize man's destruction of his fellow man and of the ecosystem. A good research paper for literature, biology or history might examine historical commentary on the ecology; how aware were commentators in Twain's day of ecological damage from the human race?
Your resultant paper might prove Twain pioneered this genre of nonfiction as well. He has taught English at the level for more than 20 years. He has written extensively in literary criticism, student writing syllabi and numerous classroom educational paradigms. Mark Twain Research Paper Topics. Characteristics of Puritan Writing. American Writers in the Roaring '20s. The 3 Stages of Chaucer's Work. Accessed 14 September It starts formally enough, with a sonorous history of the river that reveals how much Twain feels for the phenomenon of the Mississippi which will appear again in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , but swiftly falls into rambling anecdotes, comic turns, and tall tales.
It has, as is often the case in early Twain, a weakness for elephantine humor of the unsophisticated, midwestern rural stripe, but the obvious happiness that marks the tonality of the book manages to keep it going despite its regular habit of floundering in bathos.
The book could well have descended into an amusing shambles had it not been used to tell the very long, detailed, and sometimes hilarious story of the steamboat pilots and of how Twain as a young boy wheedles his way onto the Paul Jones , where Mr. Bixby, the pilot, agrees to teach him the Mississippi from New Orleans to St. Louis for five hundred dollars, which Twain is to pay him out of his first wages as a pilot. These passages are some of the best action writing done by Twain, and they anticipate the kind of exciting river narrative that is so important in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Twain obviously fell in love with the river and with piloting, and the whole book is a joyful exercise in telling it once and for all, since it had, at the time of printing, been lost forever. Mindful of this, Twain was determined to get it down in all its detail, and he follows the trade from its height, when the pilots were kings, through the battles to unionize as a defense against the owners, to the eventual falling away of the trade during the war period.
There is a kind of broken-backed structure to the work, caused in part by the fact that earlier versions of chapters 4 to 17 originally appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in serial form. These were not sufficient to make a book, so the second half was added, with Twain, now the celebrity writer, touring the river and the cities along its banks. This later material is not all bad, but it has nothing like the dramatic focus or energy of the earlier chapters, and there is a feeling that Twain is sometimes at pains to pad it, despite the success of the anecdotes.
The twenty-two years that separate the later Twain from the early adventures of the boy Clemens take much of the immediacy out of the book, even when Twain tries to praise the improvements that engineering science has imposed on the river.
Twain, the businessman, saw the profit; Clemens, the old pilot, saw the loss. It is certainly true that this latter material best illustrates the function of the book as a travel document, as Twain catalogs the changes in the river and in the towns along its banks.
The decades that had passed between the events of the first half and the second reveal how quickly the Midwest was catching up with the East and how the village and town landscape was giving way to small cities. Huckleberry Finn, tired of being beaten by his father and of well-meaning people trying to civilize him, takes to the Mississippi on a raft and discovers that he has a runaway slave along for the ride.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may at first have seemed to Twain to be an obvious and easy sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , but this book, begun in the mid s, then abandoned, then taken up again in and dropped again, was not ready to be published until It was worth the delay.
In some ways it is a simpler novel than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ; it has nothing like the complication of plot which made that earlier novel so compelling. Huck, harassed by the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, who want to give him a good home and a place in normal society, and by his brutal father, who wants to get his hands on the money that Huck and Tom found in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , decides to get away from it all, and he runs away.
This time, he does not have the tempering influence of Tom Sawyer, who was prepared to run away to a nearby island but could not resist going home for his own funeral. Tom is only an occasional renegade, eager for the romance but not the long-term reality of rebellion.
Huck is of tougher stuff, and he intends to go for good. No better indication of this is to be seen than in the simple fact that Tom tries to smoke but does not have the stomach for it: Huck does not play at it. He is a real smoker and a real rebel—or so he thinks.
Kidnapped by his father and held captive by him, Huck revels at least in the freedom of the barbaric world without soap, water, or school, but he manages to get away, leaving a trail that suggests he has been murdered, and heads for an island in the Mississippi as a start on his attempt to get away from his father and from the well-meaning sisters who would turn him into a respectable citizen.
He is on his way to leave all of his troubles behind him. It is at this point that Twain adds the complication that is to be central to the ascent of this novel from juvenile fancy to the level of moral seriousness. Jim, whose wife and children have already been separated from him and sold to a southern owner, is determined to escape to the free northern states, work as a free man, and eventually buy his family out of bondage.
Jim is property before he is a man, and Huck is deeply troubled, surprisingly, by the thought that he is going to help Jim. He sees it, in part, as a robbery, but more interestingly, he sees his cooperation as a betrayal of his obligation to the white society of which he is a member. Huck, the renegade, has, despite himself, deeply ingrained commitments to the idea that white people are superior to black people, and for all his disdain for that society, he is strongly wedded to it.
This conflict provides the psychological struggle for Huck throughout the novel. Even when the two move on, driven by the news that in the town a reward has been posted for Jim, accusing him of murdering Huck, Huck carries a strong sense of wrongdoing because he is helping Jim to escape—not from the murder charge, which can be easily refuted, but from his mistress, who clearly owns him and is entitled to do with him what she will. Nevertheless, Huck and Jim set off on the raft, which is wedded archetypally to the Ulyssean ship and may be seen as the vehicle for Huck to find out who he is and what kind of man he is likely to become.
The pattern is a common one in the history of fiction; Twain weds it to another common structure, the picaresque, which has a long literary history and in which the main characters, while traveling, encounter trials and tribulations that test their wits and ultimately their moral fiber.
The Grangerford-Shepherdson feud, for example, shows the kind of virulent stupidity that can obsess even relatively civilized human beings. The confidence men who call themselves the Duke and the King, however, take over the raft and use Huck and Jim and anyone else they can deceive for profit without concern of any kind.
Huck fears these men but is reluctant to make a clean break from them, though it is fair to remember that they watch him and Jim very closely.
The ultimate betrayal comes when Huck, who has let their confidence games be played out in several communities, draws the line when they try to defraud a family of three daughters of their inheritance.
The Duke and the King escape without discovering that Huck has revealed their plan. Undismayed by their loss, they start their fraudulent games again, committing their most thoughtlessly cruel act by selling Jim for the reward money. This is the point of no return for Huck. Jim—ignorant, superstitious, and timid but loyal and devoted to Huck—has, on the long trip down the river, shown over and over that he is a man of considerable character, despite his color and despite his disadvantaged life as a slave.
Huck, in turn, discovers that however much he tries to distinguish Jim as other than an equal, however much he is bothered by his determination to see Jim as a lesser being than the white man, he cannot ignore his growing concern for him nor his deepening affection and respect for the way in which Jim endures and goes on. Disgusted by the unfeeling barbarity of the King and the Duke, Huck sets out to free Jim, believing that in so doing, he will go to Hell.
Huck passes himself off as Tom in order to get to Jim, who is being kept in a farm outhouse. With the arrival of Tom himself, who passes himself off as his brother Sid, the fun begins, as Tom, as wildly romantic as ever, plots to free Jim the hardest way possible.
That battle has been won when Huck decides to save Jim. All works out well in the end. Huck has other ideas. All this horseplay on the farm is irrelevant, if pleasingly so, to the real strength of the novel, which lies in the journey down the mighty Mississippi, during which Huck Finn learns to care for someone, and perhaps more important, throws off that least valuable influence of society upon him: Huck, in a sense, comes to the end of this novel as the most civilized white person of all.
It is a further version of the historical fantasy that he used in The Prince and the Pauper , in which the commonly accepted inhumanities of early Renaissance life were exposed to civilized, liberal ideas which were not to have much support for some centuries to come. Some of that savagery had been shown in The Prince and the Pauper , but in this book there is a predominating line of outright cruelty. Hank Morgan may want to civilize a vicious, savage, ignorant populace, but he has in himself disturbing inclinations to what, in the twenty-first century, would be recognized as a fascistic zeal for power, if strongly tempered by his desire to bring an entire civilization out of the Dark Ages and into the nineteenth century in one lifetime.
The novel is a very dark one which, significantly, does not have the happy ending which draws The Prince and the Pauper back into the fairy tale genre with a kind of Dickensian sweetness, with the villains punished and the good people living happily ever after.
Hank Morgan is not simply trying to get through an unfamiliar situation with some vestige of moral integrity intact, as was often the case with previous Twain characters, including Huck Finn.
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1 Mark Twain Research Paper Mark Twain was a very inspirational man. He took moments of deep sadness and depression and made humor out of them to make the reader smile and make his books interesting. But what many people don’t know is that this man took many of the things that happened to him in his life and made books about it.
Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens, was a prolific author, essayist, lecturer and satirist known for his wit. As one of the most heavily quoted American writers due to his talent for cutting social commentary, Twain makes a meaty subject for research papers. The Mark Twain Papers contain the voluminous private papers of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain). Before his death in , Clemens passed these documents to his official biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine, who published sparingly from them until his death in
A Curious Dream by Mark Twain The aim of the following paper is to analyze a story by Mark Twain called A Curious Dream. We propose in this paper firstly, to analyze characters, theme and point of view; secondly, the author’s style and thirdly, the author’s beliefs. A strong research paper can compare racial commentary in Twain's day with modern times, along with critical reactions both to Twain's and Stowe's work, then and now. Political and Social Values Twain's satire extended far beyond abolitionism; Twain was a political satirist both in his writings and his lectures, in pieces such as "King Leopold's.