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Style and Mark Twain

In particular, Twain removes or tones down much of the newspaper irreverence and vulgarity@ (63).

Twain did the same In Roughing It, his sequel to The Innocents Abroad, but with a twist. His authorial style is that of a greenhorn traversing the American West. Richard Bridgman notes that Roughing It Adramatizes how ignorant the narrator then was, how naive; how deceptive the world was and is; and how cruel other people can be. Yet nothing much happens that is serious . . . A cat is blown into the sky by a blast at a quartz mine, then drops down and lands, singed and irritable but essential unhurt . . . People roar down mountainsides aboard avalanches, and they fly through the air on Washoe zephyrs, but it is all for amusement, a celebration of American energy@ (31).

Yet Roughing It is not all satire. It also contains homages reflection on the sensation of being suspended on still water. In the chapter about visiting Lake Tahoe, Twain recalls Adrifting around in the boat . . . we usually pushed out a hundred yards or so from shore, and then lay down on the thwarts, in the sun, and let the boat drift by the hour whither it would. We seldom talked. It interrupted the Sabbath stillness and marred the dreams the luxurious rest and indolence brought (544). Susan K. Harris b


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Style and Mark Twain. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 07:08, October 25, 2014, from
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