Truth and Lies
The Autobiography of Mark Twain begins with a preface from Twain that states the "frankest and freest and privatest product of the human mind is a love letter,’’ and that with his autobiography, he intends to be this frank and honest with his readers. The book is saturated with references to truth. However, when one compares Twain's autobiographical accounts with real-life events, they do not always match, a fact noted by many reviewers. Indeed, Twain himself admits at the beginning of the work that he does not always get his memories right. He notes he used to remember his brother Henry being burned in a fire when he was a baby. Twain notes that it was "remarkable that I should cling to the delusion for thirty years that I did remember it—for of course it never happened.’’
Twain himself admits on several occasions he may not be telling the truth. For example, he relates how he sold a dog that was not his so that he could collect his reward."Now then, that is the tale. Some of it is true,’’ he writes.
Within the narrative of Twain's life, the concept of truth features prominently. As a child, Twain was a troublemaker and lied to his mother or hid information from her so often that she did not believe him even when he was telling the truth. Twain also discusses the concept of trickery, both his own and others.
(The entire section is 1194 words.)
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