Clothes are simply defined as “items worn to cover the body” however they are seen as much more than that. Clothing has always been a way of defining social hierarchy dating back to the ancient times, when peasants wore cheap clothing of wool or cotton and royalty were adorned in the most brilliant imported fabrics and silk. The idea that someone who may dress better is more appealing, and someone who dresses the opposite is less appealing is a concept that even the society today believes. However, in the end the real reality of it all is that even though people appear to look different than one another, that does not establish who they actually are. The man who wears clothes that makes him look like a deadbeat can actually be a very kind, generous, and hardworking person. The man that appears to be a successful individual can be an egotistical, selfish, and lazy human being. So basically it all comes down to perception, how one views the world and interprets certain individuals whether it be by judging their clothing style or their actual personality. The idea of “clothes make the man” is present in Mark Twain’s The Prince and The Pauper to depict the lack of differences between social classes. It is said that writers write only what they know, Mark Twain was a man who did just that, the idea of social inequalities has always been a pertinent part of Twain’s life. He was exposed to things that he deemed were unjust at such a young age and he believed that everyone should be treated in humanely way. Growing up in Florida, Missouri, as the sixth of seven children in a small village Twain had been exposed to poverty at a young age, that being said he was able to identify the fact that there were two types of people, those whom were wealthy and those whom where poor like him and his family. Mark Twain grew up under a “Jacksonian Democracy” which was a new‚ and enduring political party‚ that dedicated the power of government on behalf of the common man trying to make “manifest destiny” a reality. Due to the fact that he lived under Andrew Jackson’s presidency Twain was wanted to strive to become successful, in a way put aside the views of social standards and became something important. After he figured out that the carrying out manifest destiny in the west was quite unsuccessful he decided to fight in the Civil War. He fought in order to preserve state’s rights and to defend the democratic ideals on behalf of the common white man while trying to repair issues of equality for women‚ blacks‚ and ethnic minorities. After a brief period in the war he started to obtain a great amount of jobs that involved writing, which eventually lead him to a great success. In 1865‚ Clemens got his first “big break” with the publication of his short story‚ “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” in papers across the country. Eight years later Twain seemed to be intrigued with social criticism He and Hartford Courant publisher Charles Dudley Warner co-wrote The Gilded Age, a novel that attacked corruption in politics, big business, and the obsession that Americans had with becoming rich. The idea of social criticism was a springboard for his later attempt at social commentary, Twain wrote The Prince and the Pauper in 1881 and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court in 1889, both of which explored the relations between social class, criticizing oppression and the time period’s technological boom. Another famous novel by Twain Huckleberry Finn was written to criticize slavery and spoke strongly against the continued poor treatment of black Americans compared to white American overall. The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain is a perfect example of social commentary because it explores the differences placed on people from opposite social classes. The novel takes place in 16th century England; a rich prince, Edward Tudor decides to...
Bibliography: Boyesen, Hjalmar Hjorth. "On The Prince and the Pauper." Bloom 's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 11 Dec. 2013
In this critical essay the author focuses mainly on how the novel is a watered down version of Twain’s capabilities as a writer
Lewis, Leary. “Mark Twain” American Writers Pamphlet (1960): Rpt. In Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol.9. Minneapolis: 1960.47
This critical essay discusses Twain’s views on the governmental system in England
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