Mark Twain Research Paper

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Tyler Moser
Mrs. Dillon
Lit 4
November 28, 2014
Mark Twain
Throughout all of history, slavery and race has always been an issue. During the era of
Mark Twain, This was no different. Mark Twain lived during a time period called the
“Jacksonian Democracy” which was the political movement toward greater democracy for the common man symbolized by American politician Andrew Jackson and his supporters. Mark was born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri in 1835. When he was just four years old, Twain and his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri on the Mississippi River. In Hannibal, slavery was an issue for Twain. “The African­American population in Hannibal was around 5 percent, yet in
1850 nearly a quarter of people there were slaves, in service to the other 75 percent”
(Dempsey).When Twain was a young boy, slaves were common around the Clemens household.
Mark Twain and the Church both agreed that slavery was wrong. Twain tried to make clear through his writing in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, However, both turned heads from society. Though in general, Twain wasn’t concerned with the Catholic Church.

Mark Twains thoughts on slavery when he was a young boy was it was a way of life for his family. He grew up with slavery because his dad was a partial slave trader. When he was still a young boy, Mark twain witnessed the brutal murder of a slave in his own home town of
Hannibal by the slave’s owner, who killed the man with a thrown rock for doing something

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awkward(Dempsey). When Mark got older he changed his views toward slavery and thought that it was evil and horrible. In a 1853 letter, Mark twain wrote: “ I reckon I had better black my face, for in these Eastern states n***s are considerably better than white people”( Mark Twain meant by this quote was that he thinks it better to be black, than white, because he thinks that blacks are starting to be "considered better than white people" and because slaves never treated whites the way the whites treated the slaves. He wrote this letter when was a young man. When he got older, he considered African­Americans as his friends. In 1904, Mark Twain wrote in his notebook: “The skin of every human­being contains a slave”( Mark way saying that everyone human being is equal and should be treated the same. So Mark twain ended up opposing slavery.

He wrote a book called “The adventures of Huckleberry finn”. It is about a boy about 13 years old, living in pre­civil war Missouri. Huck, has been living with the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, in the town of St.Petersburg. They’ve been trying to “sivilize” him with nice clothes, manners, and religion. Huck finds this life hard and false and would rather live free and wild. When his father hears that Huck has come into a large amount of money, he kidnaps him and locks him in an old cabin across the river. To avoid being beat by his father, Huck stages his own death and then escapes to Jackson’s Island. He then finds Jim, Miss Watson’s runaway slave, on the island, and the two decide to hideout together. To Avoid being caught, they decide to float down the river on a raft. Sleeping during the day and traveling at night, they plan to connect with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois, where slavery is outlawed. One night, they both sleep through Cairos and end up floating deeper into slave territory. Throughout the story, Jim gets

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sold into slavery by the king and the duke and end up selling him to Silas Phelps, Tom Sawyer’s uncle. When they end up getting Jim back, they go back to St. petersburg(

When they get back slavery plays a bigger role in the story. Huck Finn represents the slave, however since he grew up in a slave town, Mark Twain doesn’t make it clear that he is 100% against slavery. “By 1885, slavery had been abolished for two decades, but even after slavery has been gone,