Life on the Mississippi cover

#1 - 01 The River and its History

Life on the Mississippi

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Download 01 The River and its History audio
Download 02 The River and its Explorers audio
Download 03 Frescoes From the Past audio
Download 04 The Boys’ Ambition audio
Download 05 I Want to be a Cub-pilot audio
Download 06 A Cub-pilot’s Experience audio
Download 08 Perplexing Lessons audio
Download 09 Continued Perplexities audio
Download 10 Completing my Education audio
Download 11 The River Rises audio
Download 13 A Pilot’s Needs audio
Download 14 Rank and Dignity of Piloting audio
Download 15 The Pilots’ Monopoly audio
Download 17 Cut-offs and Stephen audio
Download 18 I Take a Few Extra Lessons audio
Download 19 Brown and I Exchange Compliments audio
Download 21 A Section in My Biography audio
Download 22 I Return to My Muttons audio
Download 23 Travelling Incognito audio
Download 24 My Incognito is Exploded audio
Download 25 From Cairo to Hickman audio
Download 27 Some Imported Articles audio
Download 28 Uncle Mumford Unloads audio
Download 29 A Few Specimen Bricks audio
Download 30 Sketches by the Way audio
Download 31 A Thumb-print and What Came of It audio
Download 32 The Disposal of a Bonanza audio
Download 33 Refreshments and Ethics audio
Download 35 Vicksburg During the Trouble audio
Download 36 The Professor’s Yarn audio
Download 37 The End of the ‘Gold Dust’ audio
Download 38 The House Beautiful audio
Download 39 Manufactures and Miscreants audio
Download 40 Castles and Culture audio
Download 41 The Metropolis of the South audio
Download 42 Hygiene and Sentiment audio
Download 43 The Art of Inhumation audio
Download 45 Southern Sports audio
Download 46 Enchantments and Enchanters audio
Download 47 Uncle Remus and Mr. Cable audio
Download 48 Sugar and Postage audio
Download 49 Episodes in Pilot Life audio
Download 50 The ‘Original Jacobs’ audio
Download 52 A Burning Brand audio
Download 53 My Boyhood’s Home audio
Download 54 Past and Present audio
Download 55 A Vendetta and Other Things audio
Download 56 A Question of Law audio
Download 58 On the Upper River audio
Download 59 Legends and Scenery audio
Download 60 Speculations and Conclusion audio

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Summary

A river memoir documenting Twain’s early days as an apprentice steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. Reminiscing about his happy experiences as a young man under the instruction of an experienced mentor, the autobiographical tale depicts one of the most vivid illustrations of river life. Furthermore, the book captures the author’s nostalgic emotions through his resonant depiction of one of the most notable periods of his life.

Twain begins his memoir with a rich historical account of the Mississippi River including its exploration by early explorers, its evolution, and its vastness. He then proceeds to tell of his youthful experiences along the river, and its significant role in his life from early childhood right up to adulthood. Subsequently, the classic focuses on Twain’s time as a cub-pilot on a steamboat and the incidents that occur during his apprenticeship. Never depicting a dull moment, the author mentions various characters and encounters which further enrich the tale as he navigates along the river. Written from a personal point of view, the story offers insight as the audience is exposed to a different angle of river life through an enchanting travel log. He vibrantly describes the beauties of the Mississippi River with its twists, shallows, rapids, turns and landmarks, consequently bringing life to the river. In the second part of the book, however, Twain describes a different experience on the Mississippi River, conveying the harsh reality of progress as he travels along the river years later. In addition the book presents opposing images of a bucolic setting not yet altered by the inescapable grasp of industrialization, and the image of the consequences instigated by industrialization and automation. A stunning blend of autobiography, history and tall tales, the book has much to offer to its audience, and also includes humorous appendixes and commentaries.

A well comprised piece of writing, Life on the Mississippi is full of imagery and descriptive language that portrays the beauty of nature, culture and heritage. Exploring themes such as inevitable change and progress in society, gratification gained from the simplicity of nature, and the deceptiveness of outward appearance, the book is a timeless classic portraying an important part of American history.

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