Paper #2 Assignment
“Two Views of the Mississippi”
In Mark Twain’s piece, “Two Views of the Mississippi”, from the beginning he starts telling us how his experiences changed. Like when steam boating was new to him, Twain tells us that he still keeps in mind a certain wonderful sunset that he witnessed (200). Just with him saying that, it makes it feel like he misses all the beautiful views he has as a novice.
The things he saw didn’t have much or any meaning to him other than he thought it was a beautiful view and an amazing landscape. Just as when one was a kid during the fall, we stayed in awe looking at all the different colors on the trees. We had no clue why the leaves changed colors, but we thought it’s an amazing thing. We later learned why the leaves would change colors in school. Same was with Twain; he didn’t have a clue what the sunset or the things he saw along the river meant until later on when he became an experienced river pilot.
Just as I was saying before, his figurative loss was he didn’t look at the sunset anymore as a beautiful sunset. He looked at it and commented upon it and said “the sun means that we are going to have wind tomorrow” (Twain, 200). This here, is his figurative gain as a pilot. He sees so many things now and puts a meaning to them. Something he couldn’t do when he was a novice. So many things he thought that probably meant nothing to him and now he sees them and can tell what those things may mean and if they are good or bad signs.
In my point of view, I believe Twain is sad about his loss because he isn’t going to see everything in awe or in amaze anymore. Just as Twain says in the beginning of the story, “I had lost something which could never be restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry, had gone out of the majestic river” (200). So instead, Twain looks less at the things along the river as in a beautiful way and looks at them more in a scientific matter.
In my opinion I think he values just about everything. I think he values that he’s an experienced river pilot, that he had the opportunity to experience or see the beautiful sunset when he was a novice. Also I believe that one of the things he values most from his gains is that he’s able to read the river as he says, “Now when I had mastered the language of this water, and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet” (Twain, 200).
As Twain basically describes to us throughout all paragraph 2 how almost everything along the river had it’s own meaning. I think that would be an amazing thing to have. That way you know if you’re in trouble. Especially if you’re a pilot, I think that would be an amazing skill to have so you know where to go through the river and where not to go through.
Twain says that the one day he realized all the dangers in river, the world was all new to him (200). Since he had never experienced this when he was a novice and never seen the river in such manner until that one day. He noticed so many dangers that I would say not many pilots or passengers would be able to see the way Twain sees it: “This sun means that we are going to have wind…