His excited interest for the German language had largely intensifyed when Twain worked as a journeyman for the local Anzeiger des Westens. This was the largest German language newspaper in the West at that time. Decades later Twain planned his first extended journey through Euroupe and seriously learned German. These nannies also prepared the family for their German stays and helped them with the complexities of this elusive language. Apparently, German had an enormous impact on Twain and his life and finally was captured largely in his essay The Awful German Language.
The first paragraph indicates to the reader the thesis of the essay and gives an idea as to what the essay is about. Effectively, it is the introduction of the short work.
Twain starts his essay reporting briefly about his effort and enormous dedication to learn the German language. He presents a certain situation at a German museum where his linguistic competence and abilities regarding his German was noticed and appreciated by the curator. The main body of the essay begins with the second paragraph.
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Here Twain comes up with his strongest arguments and what is more, he substantiates his arguments by presenting extensive aspects concerning the vices of the German language. He starts his list of vices with the exceptions of rules. He continues by criticizing the gender and the random system of irregularity with word gender assignment. The next parts of speech are mentioned and Twain explains his dilemma with these troublesome basic types of words that are never in a regular order.
According to him, that certain particularity interrupts the normal syntactical flow and, in the end, leads to great confusion. The pitfall of seperable verbs is another vice Twain explicates in the first body paragraph of the essay. Critical Assessments. LeMaster, James D.
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Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Biography 3. Encountering the German language 4.
A Tramp Abroad
Essay Structure 5. Humor and stylistic devices 6. Impact on success and distinction 7. Conclusion 8. Bibliography 9. Appendix 1. Introduction It has been a hundred years since Sigmund Freud, one of the most influential psychologists in history, has suggested that for human nature, humor and wit are tried and tested tools used to cope with conflicts and psychological pressures.
Biography Samuel L. In April Samuel L. Almost any American writer was better than Mark Twain at his worst: Mark Twain at his best was unapproachable. The books are as different as was their author at the periods when they were written. The Innocents Abroad was written by a man who was reveling in every scene and experience, every new phase and prospect; whose soul was alive to every historic association, and to every humor that a gay party of young sight-seers could find along the way.
The note-books of that trip fairly glow with the inspiration of it; those of the later wanderings are mainly filled with brief, terse records, interspersed with satire and denunciation. Very often he does not laugh heartily and sincerely at all, but finds his humor in extravagant burlesque. It seems proper to explain that in applying this term to mankind he did not mean that the race was foredoomed, but rather that it ought to be.
Yet, as noted in an earlier volume, so eminent a critic as Brander Matthews has pronounced in its favor, and he undoubtedly had a numerous following; Howells expressed. Fortunately the appendix remained. Beyond question it contains some of the very best things in the book. It is Mark Twain at his best; Mark Twain in a field where he had no rival, the field of good-natured, sincere fun-making-ridicule of the manifest absurdities of some national custom or institution which the nation itself could enjoy, while the individual suffered no wound.
The present Emperor of Germany is said to find comfort in this essay on his national speech when all other amusements fail.
A tramp abroad (Book, ) [omtaconlustfrac.cf]
It is delicious beyond words to express; it is unique. In the body of the book there are also many delights. The description of the ant might rank next to the German language almost in its humor, and the meeting with the unrecognized girl at Lucerne has a lively charm. Of the serious matter, some of the word-pictures are flawless in their beauty; this, for instance, suggested by the view of the Jungfrau from Interlaken:.
There was something subduing in the influence of that silent and solemn and awful presence; one seemed to meet the immutable, the indestructible, the eternal, face to face, and to feel the trivial and fleeting nature of his own existence the more sharply by the contrast. One had the sense of being under the brooding contemplation of a spirit, not an inert mass of rocks and ice — a spirit which had looked down, through the slow drift of ages, upon a million vanished races of men and judged them; and would judge a million more — and still be there, watching unchanged and unchangeable, after all life should be gone and the earth have become a vacant desolation.
While I was feeling these things, I was groping, without knowing it, toward an understanding of what the spell is which people find in the Alps, and in no other mountains; that strange, deep, nameless influence which, once felt, cannot be forgotten; once felt, leaves always behind it a restless longing to feel it again — a longing which is like homesickness; a grieving, haunting yearning, which will plead, implore, and persecute till it has its will.
go to site I met dozens of people, imaginative and unimaginative, cultivated and uncultivated, who had come from far countries and roamed through the Swiss Alps year after year — they could not explain why. They had come first, they said, out of idle curiosity, because everybody talked about it; they had come since because they could not help it, and they should keep on coming, while they lived, for the same reason; they had tried to break their chains and stay away, but it was futile; now they had no desire to break them.
Others came nearer formulating what they felt; they said they could find perfect rest and peace nowhere else when they were troubled: all frets and worries and chafings sank to sleep in the presence of the benignant serenity of the Alps; the Great Spirit of the mountain breathed his own peace upon their hurt minds and sore hearts, and healed them; they could not think base thoughts or do mean and sordid things here, before the visible throne of God.
Indeed, all the serious matter in the book is good. The main difficulty with the humor is that it seems overdone. It is likely to be carried too far, and continued too long. The ascent of Riffelberg is an example. The world has a weakness for its illusions: the splendor that falls on castle walls, the glory of the hills at evening, the pathos of the days that are no more. It answers to tenderness, even on the page of humor, and to genuine enthusiasm, sharply sensing the lack of these things; instinctively resenting, even when most amused by it, extravagance and burlesque.
The Innocents Abroad is more soul-satisfying than its successor, more poetic; more sentimental, if you will. The Tramp contains better English usage, without doubt, but it is less full of happiness and bloom and the halo of romance.