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 Mark Twain

36. Mark Twain

    Mark Twain, who lived from 1835 to 1910, is one of America's most famous authors. He wrote many books, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain's own life was interesting enough to be a book.

    Twain was born in the state of Missouri, near the Mississippi River. He came from a poor family. His father died when he was twelve, so he had to leave school. While he was still a boy, he worked as a riverboat pilot. He steered boats up and down the long Mississippi River.

    The Civil War, which started in 1861, made traveling on the Mississippi impossible. Twain then went west to Nevada. There he worked on a newspaper. In 1864 he went to California to find gold. Twain did not have much luck as a gold miner. He left California to travel in Europe. Twain wrote a book about his trips around Europe.

    But the most important influence on Twain and his books was the Mississippi River. When Twain finally settled down, he lived in a house with a porch that looked like the deck of a riverboat. Huckleberry Finn, Twain's greatest book, is about the adventures of a boy on the Mississippi River. Another of Twain's books is called Life on the Mississippi. In fact, even the name Mark Twain comes from the Mississippi. Mark Twain's real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. On the river Samuel Clemens often heard the boatmen shout "Mark twain!" This meant the water was twelve feet deep. When Samuel Clemens began to write he chose for himself the name Mark Twain.



1. What can we say about Twain’s life?
a. It was very interesting.
b. It was very dangerous.
c. It was boring.

2. Which family did Mark Twain have?
a. The most famous
b. Very poor
c. Huge

3. At what age did Mark finish his education?
a. When he was 12.
b. When he was 13.
c. When he was 16.

4. What job did Twain have when he was a boy?
a. A writer
b. A riverboat pilot
c. A miner

5. Why did Mark Twain have to finish his first work?
a. Because it was very hard for him.
b. Because his father died.
c. Because the war began.

6. What did his pen name mean?
a. His height at school.
b. The depth of the water.
c. The amount of his books.

7. What is the synonym for the word ‘influence’ (paragraph 3)?
a. Emotion
b. Feeling
c. Edge
d. Effect

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