Mark Twain relates his experience as a steamboat captain essay (250 words), English homework help

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In his memoir Mark Twain relates his experience as a steamboat captain on the river.  “A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood; in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold, through which a solitary log came floating, black and conspicuous; in one place a long, slanting mark lay sparkling upon the water; in another the surface was broken by boiling, tumbling rings, that were as many-tinted as an opal . . . the shore on our left was densely wooded, and the sombre shadow that fell from this forest was broken in one place by a long, ruffled trail that shone like silver. . . .”

But after Twain had, in his words, “mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet,” he says he would have viewed that sunset quite differently:  “This sun means that we are going to have wind to-morrow; that floating log means that the river is rising, small thanks to it; that slanting mark on the water refers to a bluff reef which is going to kill somebody’s steamboat one of these nights, if it keeps on stretching out like that; that silver streak in the shadow of the forest is the ‘break’ from a new snag. . . .”  Twain laments, “No, the romance and the beauty were all gone from the river.” 

Think of a fantasy, dream, or perception you’ve had of something or someone that changed once you became very familiar with the object of your fantasy.  Write a short compare-and-contrast essay about how, in your gaining knowledge of a thing, person, or experience, you lost something as well, comparing or contrasting your “before” dream-like fantasy with your “after” close familiarity with the reality. 

Use the following tips to help you complete the assignment:

– Limit the topic. Hone down your thinking to just one person, thing, or experience.

– Determine your purpose for comparing and contrasting, and make that your thesis statement.

– Organize logically. Most compare-and-contrast essays use either point-by-point or subject-by-subject organization. Plan or outline your body paragraphs before you write based on the method of organization you’ve chosen.

– Make it detailed. Look at the kinds of details Mark Twain uses, and then call upon specific sensory details of your own.

To expand the essay, you might examine a fantasy or dream you currently enjoy, and then compare or contrast that with how your perception of it could change if the fantasy became reality. Would what you gain in familiarity outweigh your loss of the dream? In what ways?

No Outside sources

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