The Missouri Message
August 1878 - Reported by Jenny Cape
Lost Then Found
Who is Mark Twain?
Me: Mr. Twain, in your new book, I enjoyed your allusion to Robin Hood when the boys were playing games on the island. Why did you choose that particular allusion?
Twain: Well, as a boy, I was amazed by the adventurous events occurring in the tale of Robin Hood. My friends and I would often retell the story in our own actions. I passed on our fascination of the classic and well-known story to the characters in my book.
Me: Many people are fond of the entertaining character, Tom Sawyer. What was your inspiration and how did you come up with that exciting personality when writing your book?
Twain: When creating the particular character of Tom Sawyer, I had my three best friends in mind. I combined my favorite qualities of each friend along with some common flaws into a thrilling and mischievous personality that many boys around the world can relate to.
Me: Lastly, Mr. Twain, there has been talk about censoring The Adventures of Tom Sawyer because the foul and inappropriate language used in the book would be offensive towards children whom are required to read the book for school. How do you feel about this action? Do you agree or disagree with it?
Twain: I disagree with the action of censoring one of my books for many reasons. First of all, changing a classic book like mine would be like changing a famous sculpture or changing a part of history, it shouldn't be done. Also, when writing this book, I was only trying to portray how kids spoke during that time period, it resembles a part of their culture near that time in history. I had reason to put those words in my book. If kids or schools truly find my words offensive, the censored version is always available instead.