Author Spotlight: Mark Twain

In the summer of tenth grade going into eleventh, I read 3 books by Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Pudd’nhead Wilson.

To begin with Tom & Huck (1876 and 1884, respectively), whose stories really run together for me: I had grown up watching various film versions of their stories. For me, they pretty much blend together. There are the classic scenes of Tom Sawyer faking his own death, or manipulating other children into doing his chores for him. As for Huckleberry Finn, Huck’s escapades with Jim were quite memorable.

When it came to Pudd’nhead (1894), I actually found this book an easier read than Sawyer or Finn. I’m not sure why; perhaps because the plot felt surprisingly modern and fast-moving. A groundbreaking novel for its time, being one of the first to feature such issues as the nurture vs. nature debate, babies switched at birth, and the (at the time, brand new) phenomenon of finger prints used for identification.

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