Essay about Advice to Youth and Mark Twain

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Mark Twain, known at the time to be a humorous author, wrote a speech on ‘Advice to Youth.’ Twain gives several pieces of advice all with a twist of honesty attached. The way this speech was written suggest that it would have been delivered at a graduation ceremony. Perhaps Twain was asked to speak at a college graduation ceremony and was going to deliver this speech. It is the perfect speech to relate to youth. Twain’s advice begins with “always obey your parents…” (Norton, 550) which is sound advice. The rule of obeying one’s parents comes right from the Ten Commandments. Obeying one’s parents is a rule that is as old as time, engraved in everyday teachings. Twain twists this idea and adds “… when they are present” (Norton, 550) saying…show more content…
Twain is relating to the target audience. Twain is getting into the shoes of a youth in their era. This is one way to get the youth to listen and respond in a positive way. Twain writes every sentence positively then ends sarcastically. “If a person offends you … hit him with a brick” (Norton, 550). This line is hilarious. Twain is telling young adults it is ok to act out aggressively, just wait for the appropriate time and place. Also, if it is the wrong person you act out against just apologize and everything will be fine. The lark is commonly used as a symbol in a variety of ways. Twain uses the lark in the part about going to bed early and waking up early. Waking up with the sun is the normal time to rise for the year this was written. Depending on the time of year the sun usually rises at about seven in the morning. Twain says to wake up with a lark is respectable but “you can easily train him to get up at half past nine” (Norton, 550). Meaning on average this would give you an extra two and a half hours to sleep in. This is evidence showing that Twain is writing to teens or college students because they are usually the ones who like to sleep the day away. Mark Twain’s advice on lying is do not get caught. Twain says “once caught, you can never again be, in the eyes of the good and the pure” (Norton, 550) Meaning once a person lies, that person is a liar. Branded like cattle, forever having a mark of the liar. It literally scars a

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