The Autobiography of Mark Twain - Study Guide Chapters 67-71 Summary & Analysis

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These chapters eulogize Twain's wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, and describe the last days of her life. He says the dictation of this autobiography ceased for two years after she was gone, because he didn't know if he could bring himself to tell the story. He resumed this autobiography on the second anniversary of Olivia's death.

It is actually unclear why Twain's wife died. At the beginning of her last illness, she was diagnosed with a nervous breakdown. From then on, Olivia was confined to her bed, and her family protected her from any unpleasant news. For instance, Clara, who had always been the most honest person in the family, managed to keep it from her mother when the Clemens' third daughter, Jean, had double pneumonia. Clara made up an entire fictional life for Jean, and Olivia was thought never to have known the difference.

At...

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This section contains 283 words
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