Dreaming Better Dreams

Forrest G. Robinson

in The Author-Cat

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227877
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240968 | DOI:
Dreaming Better Dreams

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


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Clemens's worst trouble in life began in 1894 when he suffered a humiliating plunge into bankruptcy. He righted himself by taking an around-the-world lecture tour, but that brief triumph was overturned by the death of his daughter, Susy, in 1896. Similar feelings overtook him when his beloved wife died in 1904. Clemens himself endured a variety of ailments, he was diagnosed with a heart conditions in late 1909. On Christmas Eve of that year, his youngest daughter, Jane, was drowned in the bathtub, and four months later Clemens also died. Intervals of relief, varieties of grief and rage, and remorse were the dire but durable burden of Clemens's later life. The late works of Clemens are preoccupied with forming and articulating judgments of God, human nature, and himself. There is also evidence of self-reckoning in Tom Sawyer, and graver misgivings and scores of race-slavery clearly at large in Huckleberry Finn.

Keywords: life; death; late works; remorse; Clemens; bankruptcy

Chapter.  23730 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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