“By the Book”

Richard S. Lowry

in ‘Littery Man’

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780195102123
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855087 | DOI:

Series: Commonwealth Center Studies in American Culture

“By the Book”

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


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Finally, education as one of the three major cultural transformations, along with capital and culture, as seen in the works of Mark Twain, is explicated in this fourth and final chapter. This chapter serves as a point of departure by dealing with the Adventures of Tom Sawyer as a conclusion to the study. The author argues that the novel enacts a parody of Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, since Twain's novel begins with the characterization of an illiterate boy writing his own autobiography. This constitutes Mark Twain's most profound entry in his own autobiography of authorship. The verge of authorship is talked about in this chapter, as well as the autobiography and the making of the literate author. The chapter ends with some “fighting words.”

Keywords: education; Tom Sawyer; Benjamin Franklin; Autobiography; authorship

Chapter.  20620 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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