Life on the Mississippi - Chapters 1-15 Summary & Analysis

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Twain begins the book in Chapter I, "The River and its History," by describing the river, which he thinks is the longest and crookedest in the world: 1,300 miles altogether which would be 675 if drawn in a straight line. He then moves from the physical to the historical, writing about DeSoto, who in 1542 was the first settler to see the river. He puts this in context with artistic and social events of this era. He notes that it would be 130 years before another white man saw the river.

In Chapter II, "The River and its Explorers," Twain discusses the many different explorers who saw the river, from Marquette to DeSoto to La Salle. Joliet and Marquette came from Wisconsin to the Mississippi junction. There, they were told by the Indians that the river was dangerous. Going down to the mouth of Arkansas, they believed...

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This section contains 1,285 words
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Buy the Life on the Mississippi Study Guide
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