Mark Twain's visits to the Sandwich Islands: an appointment with dreams




Fox, Bettye Oliger

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Mark Twain's visit to Hawaii in 1866 had an instrumental impact in launching him as an international name. Beginning with his Pacific voyage to paradise and the almost six months he spend there as a roving reporter for The Sacramento Union, Mark Twain reached a turning point in his life: lecturer, explorer of a Hawaiian theme based novel, and one who unwillingly parted with his dreams of youth. This voyage permitted him to experiment in the narrative, the dramatic incident and character portrayal. These experimentations opened the door for his future travel stories including The Innocents Abroad and Roughing It. Because of this trip Mark Twain made the transition from cruder, earlier writings to more refined forms. His personal life was embellished as well, for he met his mentor: Anson Burlingame, a man who would help Mark Twain understand the refined life of society. The Sandwich Islands Letters were a vital link in Mark Twain's literary career, helping make him one of the best known personalities on the coast, a link that would become the catapulting event firing him to the ascension of literary greatness.



American literature, Biographies, Language, literature, and linguistics