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Samuel Langhorne Clemens pen name Mark Twain was born on November 30 1835 in Florida Missouri In 1839 the Clemens family moved to Hannibal Missouri Chew This location was well suited for steamboat landingsRasmussen 188 because it was on the Mississippi Twain was a steamboat pilot for several years and by the time he started to write Old Times he had been away from the river for over ten years It is then understandable to think that Twain might in writing Old Times tend to be more than a bit un-realistic After all as the saying goes absence makes the heart grow fonder Throughout the story he focuses on the romanticism and heroism of steamboating Rasmussen 344 However at the end he does come back down to earth by showing the true realism of steam boating From the beginning of Old Times Twain is in an Ah those were the good ole days tone Twain explains that the number one goal the one permanent ambition McMichael 238 of the boys in the small riverside town where he grew up was to be a steamboat man McMichael 238 The reason for this had to do with the popularity of the steamboats in the townspeoples eyes Twains village was always very quiet and lifeless until a steamboat arrived When one did come by the entire dead town became alive and moving Drays carts men boys and basically everyone would hurry from all around to meet at a common spot the wharf Assembled there the people would fasten their eyes upon the boat as if they were seeing it for the first time McMichael 239 The reason why Twain and his friends admired the steamboat men was because of all of the attention they received from everyone in the village Basically they all wanted a job on one of the boats so that they could gain of all of the attention of everyone in the town Twain
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