Mark Twain’s Fiscal Irresponsibility

 

Mark Twain’s Fiscal Irresponsibilities

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Mark Twain and his good friend, Who once saved Twain and his children’s lives from a runaway carriage.

One uniquely interesting topic regarding the life of Mark Twain is the fact that throughout his life, he tends to follow his dreams and take the adventurous routes. He doesn’t go where he can make the most money like the majority of people tend to do. When presented with career opportunities in his life, the job’s pay is one of the last things on Twain’s mind. Twain is more concerned with what new adventures await him on his path and how he can have the most fun. Proof of this is the fact that Twain never took the path most traveled, and that many of the career decisions he made during his life may seem sporadic and risky. This is true because the qualities potential jobs possess like giving Twain the chance to go on an adventure or being given the chance to go somewhere new and different excites him, not the potential gains of a perspective job. These qualities are exactly what he looks for when pursuing new avenues in his life. A good example of this was Twain’s decision to stay at his job at the printing press for his brother’s newspaper when Twain was just a young boy. Twain stayed at this job for two years, even though he wasn’t paid at all for the work he did like he was promised. Twain stayed in all likelihood only because he enjoyed his work there, and all he needs to be happy with himself was to be content with what he is doing. On his way to trade cocoa plants in South America, Twain spontaneously turned around and followed his dream of becoming a steamship pilot. Why? Because he enjoyed the steamship ride down the river on his way to South America, so he changed his mind. Twain imagined himself captaining a steamship like those he had ridden his whole life, it was his boyhood dream, and he fell in love with the idea of doing it. Twain often said that he grew up a captain and that learning to sail a steamboat was his Harvard and Yale. Most people wouldn’t dare live their lives with such an abnormal tendency to bounce around and do something different depending on how one feels on any given day, but as long as something like sailing a steamboat made Twain happy, to him, it was better than Harvard and Yale. In conclusion, Twain’s unique tendency to make sporadic choices in his life impacts his countless careers but can also be attributed to his general impulsiveness in his personal life, and is present in the personalities of the characters in his writing as well. This pattern paints a unique picture of what went on inside Mark Twain’s head, what made him make the choices he did and how little he truly thought about many of the life changing decisions he made. Many of them sounded fun and exciting, and that was all he was looking for.

 

Image Source: http://www.jimsjourney.org/twainafricanamericans/

 

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This entry was posted in Ken Burns Twain Biography 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mark Twain’s Fiscal Irresponsibility

  1. 18emh says:

    Praise: I liked how you included several examples (printers apprentice, being a steamboat captain is twain’s “Harvard or Yale” etc) of how twain doesn’t care about salaries of his jobs but rather the enjoyment he gets from doing them. I question that I have is who is in the picture. One improvement I would make to your post is adding a caption to the picture so that everyone knows what is going on in the picture, who’s in it, and where you got it etc.

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