|Plot Summary of Life on the Mississippi|
|"The author who would become famous as Mark Twain started out in life as Samuel Clemens. Born and raised along the Mississippi River, Clemens would start out in life as a steamboat pilot.
This book, which was written after he was a famous writer, tells the story of his life on the river. In the first part, he is a cub pilot under his mentor, Horace Bixby, who teaches him how to navigate the treacherous river. Then he gets his own license and starts to pilot on his own, experiencing many adventures and meeting many interesting people. The very very wordy Twain mixes it up in this part of the book, describing both the river, steamboats, steamboating, etc., and what happens to him as a pilot. In May of 1861, his career will end because of the Civil War. By chance he will pilot the last steamboat from New Orleans to St. Louis. Afterwards, it's used by the Union Army to transport troops.
In the second part of the book, Twain describes a trip he takes back to the Mississippi in 1882. Boarding in St. Louis, he takes steamships down to New Orleans and then all the way back up the river to Minnesota. This is an interesting part of the book because it includes a fair amount of commentary about life in America after the Civil War, reflecting on the differences between the North and the South."
Ann Gaines, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Life on the Mississippi|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
Biography of famous person?
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Smarter than most other people
- average physique
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 10 ()
- Deep South
- 19th century
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Book makes you feel?
- very happy
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
Commentary on society?
Writer's slant towards subject:
- very favorable
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
- A lot 11-15 B&W
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 26-50% of book
How much is philosophy rather than life story?
- 0-25% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Mark Twain Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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