Spunkwater, Spunkwater!: A Life of Mark Twain Topics for Discussion

James Playsted Wood
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1. Humor is very difficult to analyze, but nearly everybody agrees that Twain was a very funny man. What made him a great American humorist?

2. Wood correctly observes that Mark Twain was both Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Of the two, Twain seemed to prefer Tom. Why was this?

3. What is a persona? How did Samuel Clemens choose certain elements of his personality to become Mark Twain?

4. Mark Twain was very image conscious and wanted to be certain that future readers of his books got the right impression of him. Has this happened?

5. Twain, a professed atheist, had several ministers as friends, such as the Reverend Joseph Twichell. How were these unlikely relationships possible?

6. According to Wood, why did Mark Twain believe that Halley's comet had personal significance for him? Was this a joke or superstition?

7. Given his attitudes about the progress of "the damned...

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This section contains 166 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Spunkwater, Spunkwater!: A Life of Mark Twain Short Guide
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Spunkwater, Spunkwater!: A Life of Mark Twain from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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