Which 2 jobs on the steamboat did Twain admire?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In his memoir, Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain explains that he spent his childhood admiring everyone that worked on a steamboat, but most of all, he admired the steamboat pilots. Whenever a steamboat would arrive in his small town, the children would get excited; for them, the steamboat...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In his memoir, Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain explains that he spent his childhood admiring everyone that worked on a steamboat, but most of all, he admired the steamboat pilots. Whenever a steamboat would arrive in his small town, the children would get excited; for them, the steamboat represented adventure and a possibility to travel and explore the world. When he was 21 he began working as cub-pilot until he received his license and title as a pilot and steamboat captain. When he was an apprentice, Twain often admired the river’s beauty and wrote about it in his notebook; however, when he became a pilot he realized that all the beautiful things that he admired about the river might be dangerous to his crew and the boat. Thus, a steamboat pilot would be the first job that not only Twain, but many others admired and respected as well.

I don’t believe I came across a quote or a part in the memoir in which Twain specifically mentions that he admired any other job than a steamboat captain. However, it’s obvious that he loved and enjoyed writing and storytelling immensely; the notebook he carried with him in which he wrote letters to his loved ones and various other notes and stories recounting his experiences only further solidifies this point.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team