Life on the Mississippi Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 18 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Life on the Mississippi.
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The Growth of America

One of the most prevalent themes in Life on the Mississippi is the growth of America as a country, as well as the development of national and regional characteristics. Through the rise and fall of the steamship industry, Twain traces the development of a certain area of the United States. Thus, he begins his story by telling of the discovery of the Mississippi and of its early uses before giving the narrative its more personal tone. Here, we begin by seeing the Mississippi as an undiscovered resource, to be followed by a discussion of its uses for the growth of industry, as well as its mythical character in Twain's eyes. Not only does Twain discuss the steamboat as a part of his maturing, but he also shows how it allowed America to grow and develop, through trade and even during the Civil War. The two...

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This section contains 680 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Life on the Mississippi Study Guide
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