Mark Twain stopped going to his private school when his father died and became an apprentice printer at the Hannibal Courier. The job paid only a meager ration of food. In 1851, Twain age 15, got a job as a printer and occasional writer for the Hannibal Western Union. This was a newspaper his brother, Orion, owned. After he worked for his brother he worked on and off with newspapers. In 1857, a dream was fulfilled for 21 year old Mark Twain, he became a steamboat pilot. That is where he came up with the name, Mark Twain, which was steamboat slang for how deep the water was. He loved the profession but after a while he had to stop due to the Civil War. He soon joined the Confederate Army to help with the war. But only stayed in the army for a short amount of time.
Twain met Olivia Langdon through her brother and Mark soon fell in love with her. The two got married in 1870 and had a son who later died from diphtheria. The two also had more children all girls, two died in their twenties and the other lived until 88. But he had a distant relationship with his longest living daughter.
From all of his jobs working for newspapers Twain found a love for writing. His first piece to be published was in a newspaper, it was titled, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Claveras County." But this did not sell very well. His second book was "Innocence Abroad" that he wrote after his travels in Hawaii. His next book was "Roughing It" that was about camping. "Gilded Age" was his next book and was another great seller. He had many more books published but some of his most famous books were The "Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," he thought he would never write a better book than those two. Overall Mark Twain wrote about 20 books and multiple short stories. Mark Twain wrote long books, short stories, letters, sketches ,and newspaper articles.
Twain's writing Style and Audiences
Many parts of his popular books have been inspired by his childhood including witnessing a murder, seeing his friend drown, and also the pure fact of growing up in Hannibal. Twain wrote with a sharp eye for the truth, he wrote in a narrative style, he was friendly but disrespectful, wrote about the common folk, and used irony and sarcasm. Anybody who has the ability to understand his writing would enjoy the humor, adventure, and the truth.
After is publishing company fell he started to struggle financially and this took a toll on his mood. He became depressed and was pessimistic. He was angry at himself for not writing enough about his Missouri boy hood. As an old man he received many Honors and Degrees. He also took on more lecture tour to pay of final debts. Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910 when he was 74 in Redding, Connecticut