The Matter of Hannibal

Shelley Fisher Fishkin

in Lighting Out for the Territory

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195121223
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855162 | DOI:
The Matter of Hannibal

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This chapter describes Mark Twain's Hannibal, the physical setting of his most famous novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huck Finn, and his inspiration for countless others. Hannibal is the place where Twain grew up, where he shared the experiences of his two famous characters, Tom and Huck. Twain considered the town as a microcosm of America, living proof of its guilt and shame, and triumph and achievements. The chapter, using experiences while travelling to and within Hannibal, then traces the history of John Berry Meachum, a prominent slave turned free black reformist in neighboring St. Louis, Missouri, as a prologue to a discussion on slavery in the South, and its manifestations in Twain's hometown. The chapter describes the town as a tourism hotspot for Twain fans and relates her conversations with contemporary town members of their views on Twain's philosophy and works.

Keywords: Hannibal; Mark Twain; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Adventures of Huck Finn; Tom; Huck; John Berry Meachum; St. Louis; Missouri; America

Chapter.  23367 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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