MARK TWAIN'S SPEAKING IN THE DARK YEARS (COMMUNICATION, RHETORIC, MOVEMENTS).
AuthorSTRONG, WILLIAM FREDERICK.
KeywordsTwain, Mark, 1835-1910.
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910 -- Political and social views.
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910 -- Literary style.
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910 -- Criticism and interpretation.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study examines Mark Twain's use of the spoken word in the last decade of his life. It includes Twain's informal readings, his image manipulation and control, his rhetorical speaking, his methods of speech preparation, and his dictation of the autobiography. Twain's use of oral interpretation is examined demonstrating the influence of the Reading Tour of 1884-1885. He read informally for personal delight and to edit his works. A large part of the dissertation is devoted to the long history of the Twain persona. Particularly does this study focus on Twain's rhetorical persona and the means by which he attempted to maintain the historical Mark Twain while expanding his role to that of political activist. Using a Burkean perspective, Twain's anti-imperialist rhetoric is analyzed. His private philosophy dictated the use of two ratios. Though he did not successfully defeat the imperialists, he was effective in rallying and unifying the anti-imperialist forces. The final portion of this work investigates Twain's participation in the effective campaign to dethrone Richard Croker and Tammany Hall. Attention is also given to Twain's seventieth birthday speech, and his lecture-like dictation of his autobiography. This dissertation concludes that in his final years Twain found happiness in the spoken word, that mode of communication on which he built his career.
Degree ProgramSpeech Communication
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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