Mark Twain, as you probably know, was a very famous writer. He was very well known, and he was very rich. But he was a very depressed man. This shines through clearly in his autobiography.
In the beginning of the autobiography he relishes in the fond and sunny memories of childhood. But as you progress into the book, you start to wade deeper and deeper into the muddy swamp. He was a very skeptical kid, and he carried that throughout his life. When he was a kid in school he prayed for a piece of gingerbread that the teacher had. Of course, the gingerbread didn’t lift off the desk and fly to him, so he lost all faith in religion.
He talks about several instances in his childhood and early teens. About the minstrel shows and the hypnotist and the swings that broke. He talks as though he wished he were a kid again, for although he had a successful life in the material sense, Mark Twain was not happy. He missed something in his life. Something that was just beyond the reach of his fingertips. And that something was love. (more…)