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The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain. By: Bethany Johnson American Lit. Character Captain.

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the wit and wisdom of mark twain

The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

By: Bethany Johnson

American Lit.

character captain
Character Captain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (better known for the pen name Mark Twain) was an American author and Humorist. Throughout his life Twain published over 30 books, hundreds of short stories, and essays. Twain was also extensively quoted, and the quotes are still known today. Although he is best known for his novels Huckleberry Finn and The adventures of Tom Sawyer.

discussion director
Discussion Director
  • Why did Samuel Clemens use the pen name Mark Twain?
  • “The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise," wrote Mark Twain. The river inspired Twain's childhood dream to become a steamboat pilot as well as the author's eventual pen name. "Mark twain" was what the leadsman on a riverboat called when the water was two fathoms deep -- that's 12 feet, which is deep enough to be considered safe for most boats of the era.
  • How does Twain represent realism in his writing?

- Like other writers from the Realistic Period, Mark Twain represented life in a realistic manner. His style was humorous and descriptive, capturing the colloquial voice of American speech with slang and iconoclasm.

discussion director continued
Discussion Director Continued…
  • What were some of the main topics of Twains most notable quotes?

- Although Twain had remarks on almost every matter in the book, there were definitely some topics he was drawn to more. These were; The Human Condition ( and other afflictions), Religion and Morals, and Food, Smoking, and Life’s Little Pleasures.

vocabulary enricher
Vocabulary Enricher

Rebuke:to express sharp, stern disapproval of.

Scoff: an expression of mockery, derision, doubt, or derisive scorn; jeer.

Blasphemous: uttering, containing, or exhibiting blasphemy; irreverent; profane

Benevolence: desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness

Adversaries: person, group, or force that opposes or attacks; opponent; enemy; foe.

the moral compass
The Moral Compass

“It is agreed, in this country, that if a man can arrange his religion so that it perfectly satisfies his conscience, it is not incumbent on him to care whether the arrangement is satisfactory to anyone else or not.“

- Twain believed that this sense of right and wrong is a part of our own internal moral compass, not necessarily a thing that has to do with our greater self.

the connector
The Connector

*Twains quotes still relate to today’s issues and themes*

Character: “Always do right - this will gratify some and astonish the rest.”

Challenge: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Religion&Morals: {On Morals} “ I’d rather teach them than practice them any day.”

Love:“Love is madness; if thwarted it develops fast.”

Family:“Always obey your parents, when they are present”

literary luminator
Literary Luminator

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Mark Twain

[ This quote is relevant to myself, and today’s society because it still remains very true. I believe Twain meant that lies, which can be scandalous and the subject of gossip, are more interesting, and that human nature prefers exciting, bad news, rather than boring truth. This is very common with teenagers, and high school “drama”]

“Necessity is the mother of taking chances”

[ In this quote, Twain was saying it is necessary to take chances in life. You don’t want to look back at your life and realize you never stepped out of the box and tried something new. With taking chances, comes new, exciting, life changing experiences. I think this quote relates to anyone and everyone even today, also myself. Twain seemed like the type of person who didn’t let stuff pass him by. We should all live a little more like this.]