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Mark Twain/His Time/Tom Sawyer Essay, Research Paper

Most adults today have most likely read the story of Tom Sawyer, a novel about young boy who grew up on the Mississippi River, or a writing by Mark Twain. But what most people do not know is that the author actually grew up on the Mississippi River himself. That author is Samuel Clemens, who wrote under the name of Mark Twain. Mark Twain came from the Western Movement Era in American History, which took place from 1783 to 1825, which was when Americans were moving west to find gold and land.

On November 30, 1835 Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born, two months premature in Florida Missouri to John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens(Hoffman, pg. 1). When Samuel was born with Halley’s Comet presence in the sky. Do to this presence Samuel’s mother, Jane, believed Samuel was clairvoyant and thought that Samuel had supernatural abilities. One occurrence to add to this belief was on one August night in 1839. Samuel walked into his sisters room where his sister laid ill, Sam still asleep, and Samuel plucked on the coverlet on his sister. This was a gesture associated with Missouri folk-mind with imminent death. A few days later his sister died. The family believed that Samuel had foreseen the event (Hoffman, pg. 4).

Samuel had a very difficult childhood and had many different jobs growing up. When Samuel was three the birth of a younger brother had a disturbing affect on Samuel. Samuel when into spells of unprovoked rage (Hoffman, pg.4). Then, when Samuel was just a young boy, his father died in a house raising accident. Samuel worked for the Enterprise, there Samuel played many practical jokes and used those jokes to write about. Then Samuel moved on to The Galaxy, where Samuel was able to write what he wanted to. Samuel also served in the Civil War as a soldier. On February 2, 1870 Samuel Clemens married Olivia Langdon, who was ten years younger (Kaplan, pg.123). A year before Samuel pasted away his heart disease became more troublesome. Samuel said that he came with Halley’s Comet and that he would leave with Halley’s Comet. On April 21, 1910 Samuel Langhorne Clemens died, the night before Halley’s Comet shone in the sky (Meltzer, pg. 288).

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is one of the many writings by Mark Twain. The story takes place in the small town of St. Petersburg, Missouri, in the 1800’s before the Civil War and before the Industrial Revolution had reached Missouri. The main character is Tom Sawyer who is very imaginative and mischievous. Tom’s friend Huckleberry Finn is homeless, and very much like Tom.

The conflict is that Tom and Huck witnessed Injun Joe, the “bad guy” in the story, kill Dr. Robinson and knock Muff Potter unconscious. Dr. Robinson hired Injun Joe and Muff Potter, a harmless town drunk, to dig up a grave, for its contents. Everyone in the town believed that Muff Potter killed Dr. Robinson, but did not believe Muff’s story about what really happened. Tom is afraid to testify against Injun Joe in the trial, but eventually does. After Tom testifies Injun Joe escapes. A few days later Tom and Becky, Tom’ friend go to caves near the town and see Injun Joe. Tom and Becky escape and go back to the village and there is a large celebration. About two weeks later Tom goes to see Becky and the Judge tells Tom that the cave was locked up and Tom tells that Injun Joe is still in the cave. They go to find Injun Joe, who was by the entrance and starved to death. Huck was ill during this but after words goes with Tom to the cave to retrieve Injun Joe’s treasure. Huck is adopted by Widow Douglas, a local women, and the money, about twelve-thousand dollars, is invested for the boy’s.

Samuel Clemens came from the Western Movement Era in American history. This period was from 1783 to 1890 (Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia, pg.1). Three important dates in this time period are 1783, 1803, and 1804. The first date is 1783 because it was the last year of the American Revolution. Then 1803 is the second date because it was when the Louisiana Purchase was made. Last was 1804, because the Louis and Clark expedition was sent out.

In 1783 the Treaty Of Paris ended the American Revolution. England accepted the independence of the United States and removed its troops. Western boundaries were agreed upon and the United States promised not to take the land of the who remained loyal to England that lived in the United States. Then, in 1803, the Louisiana Territory was purchased from France for 15 million dollars for 885,000 acres(Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia, pg. 5). This was equal to only pennies per acre. The purchase doubled the size of the United States and made the westward expansion possible (Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia, pg. 5). Last in 1804 President Thomas Jefferson sent out an expedition, with Captain Meriweather Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark. The expedition included twenty-eight people skilled in many different fields. The expedition set out from St. Louis on May 14, and returned to St. Louis on September 23,1806. The journals kept gave important information about land West of the Mississippi River.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was a very talented writer who went through several difficult periods in his life. But Samuel also lived through a very important period of American history, The Western Movement Era. Samuel contributed many gratifying stories, Including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. However the most interesting detail about Samuel Clemens is that he arrived with Halley’s Comet and left with Halley’s Comet. Perhaps without the presence of Halley’s Comet such a brilliant writer as Mark Twain may never have been born.


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