Advice to Youth Summary, Theme, Critical Appreciation by Mark Twain
Advice to Youth Summary
“Advice to youth” (1882) is a bitterly satirical essay by Mark Twain. His style is personal, authentic and is written almost in the form of a discourse. In the essay, the reader finds a typical American turning on the Old world the sceptical eye of the new. And the result is somewhat a philistine, but vivid and amusing pictures of his mind.
In his posthumous collected works, editor’s notes have conjecturally assigned the address of the discourse to the Boston Saturday morning club. However, it finally took the shape of a universal address. In the essay, Twain’s advice to youth is primarily confined to six elements.
These include: selective obedience towards parents, respecting superiors, the wisdom of going to bed early and waking up early, lying, firearm protocol, and the importance of good books, of which his own (the Innocents Abroad, is also included. The essay impregnates a pungent satire, often garnished with bitter humour. His didacticism is bold, direct and sarcastic especially while his words of wisdom are preached to the youth.
Advice to Youth About the Author Mark Twain
Mark Twain was the pen-name of Samuel L. Clemens (1835-1910). Born in Florida, Missouri, he was in turn a pilot on the Mississippi, a silver-miner in Nevada, a journalist, and an editor. A pleasure-trip to Europe provided him with material for The Innocents Abroad (1869), which established his reputation as an American humorist of the first rank.
Twain’s work falls into three main classes, travel books, novels of the Mississippi, and romances. In the first group we have, in addition to The innocents Abroad, Roughing It (1872), an account of his own experiences in the West, A tramp Abroad (1880), which tells of further travels in Europe, an following the equator (1897), in which he writes of the world -wide lecture tour made toward the end of his life. His best work is to be found in the novels of the Mississippi. The adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and
The adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) break away from the cultured gentility of New England literature to give vivid, realistic, and racy pictures of life in the Southern states. Of the two, Huckleberry Finn is generally adjudged the greater, in that it plumbs deeper levels of human experience than the more romantic Tom Sawyer.
Life on the Mississippi (1883), though a travelogue, belongs to this group, for its first half also deals with the great waterway, as twain remembered it from his youth. The romances, which include The prince and the pauper (1881), A Connecticut Yankee in KING Arthur’s court (1889), and Joan of Arc (1896), are of a poorer quality. In these twain lacked the stimulus of personal experience.
Advice to Youth Theme
Mark Twain’s “Advice to youth” is written in a spirit typical of an American, to some extent rebellions against the old, established ways of faith as well as the practices in the society behind his didacticism, he lurks a bitter satire that openly criticizes societal hypocrisy of the older generation. He advocates for respect for superior and others where as at the same time advises to hit an offender with a brick in an opportune moment.
And at the same time he pleads that in case the offenders’ offence was not intentional, the brick-hitter must beg to be forgiven as it was a matter of misunderstanding. He also speaks for non-violence, charity and kindness much though he announces that these qualities are long forgotten.
His message “Leave dynamite to the low and unrefined” clearly expresses his rebellions view about the younger generations. The adage connotes that the youth must have fire in the belly for action-not always explosive but as and when the situation demands, they must use it. He has out and out ridiculed the age-old idea of
disciplinary rules that govern people’s life. Instead of working up early in the morning, he advises to tram a lark (perhaps sky lark, a singing bird) to sing its wake-up songs as late as 9:30 a.m making it convenient for a willful riser. About lying, Mark Twain suggests a will planned, deliberate, well ebbed lie that generate “confidence, elegance, and precise ‘and never get cough albeit the older generation believe just the opposite.
His advocacy for the protocol in handling fire-arms is also typically personal. A mock gun-fire may came a scene of hilarious amusement for the by-standers, but not for the targeted people. In the essay, the reader feels the spirit of his “The Innocent’s abroad” (1869) wherein he, a typical American is turning on the Old world the sceptical eye of the new. Thus the essay has become a philistine but vivid and amusing piece of literary out.
Mark Twain’s “Advice to youth” is believed to be an excerpt from his 750 page Autobiography which he wrote on his death bed and instructed that it be not published until 100 years after his death, is on the NY times best seller list and is being called the “Dad book of the year.” Some critics say that this irreverent, inappropriate, funny advice was delivered to a group of American young girls.
“Advice to youth” is a satirical essay by Mark Twain in 1882. However, while the exact audience of his speech is uncertain, it is most probably American. In his posthumous collected works, editor’s notes have conjecturally assigned the address to the Boston Saturday morning club. Interpreted by scholars as a critique of authority, Twain’s. “Advice to youth” may have been a topical response to the prohibition of alcohol in Kansas in 1881, a legislature action which many residents found deeply upsetting.
Advice to Youth Critical Appreciation
Mark Twain’s “Advice to youth” is an advisory and a mock-serious essay criticizing the Old order and their seamy side of moral values. Almost every sentence is paradoxical, impregnating caustic humour and satire. In the essay, twain advises the young generation to be pragmatic to the demand of the situation and act accordingly.
In doing so, he has used a variety of figures of speech when he advises to be respectful to the superiors and be non-violent, he advises the younger generations to used bricks to hit such superiors if ever they offend the youth, and seek forgiveness if such offence was unintentional. Another example of irony coupled with sarcasm is his advice to be careful while lying. He believes that lying is an art if not caught while he believes, “Truth is mighty and will prevail.”
Parallelism is also used to express his contempt for the seniors. He says “Always obey your parents, when they are present”, and it connotes that parents can be disobeyed when they are absent. Thus in every sentence and throughout the essay he has sallied with a mock-seriousness creating pungent humour often resulting into bitter satire preaching there by a necessity to think in the clear light of argument, and not blindly follow the age-old moral dictums of the old order.
Advice to Youth Title of the Story
In “Advice to youth”, Mark Twain exposes the inanity of the old, authoritative order and ridicule with his direct, bold whip of satire. Twain mercilessly hits out at the worn-out ideas that the older generation has handed down to their young successors. He criticizes the idea of truthfulness, respect, kindness, protocol of firearms and propounds the idea of wisdom through realistic wisdom.
His humour ranges from farce to plunge satire. He has shown how the older generation has grown up through the same errors and omissions that they expect their younger generation to avoid and draw a clean state. This discourse is a mock-serious one bringing out the follies and foibles of mankind and a message for younger generation to mature through the common trials and trivialities that are likely to come in the course of life’s journey. Therefore, the title is justified.
Advice to Youth Annotations and Vocabulary
Inquired — Ask for information
Didactic — Advising
Longed — Have a strong wish or desire
Tender — Gentleness, kindness, affection
Enduring — Durable
Beseechingly — Marked by earnest pleading
Urgingly — Same as above
Humouring that superstition — Affirming the belief
Do not take resort to extreme measures — Not to adopt violent means
Leave dynamite to the low and unrefined — Keep the fire in mind. Some authorities say get up with the sun, some say get up with one thing-Different opinion about
the right time to wake up.
Lark — Skylark, a singing bird
Temperate — Moderation and self restraint
Elegance — Graceful and stylish
Precision — Accuracy and exactness
Accomplishment — Successful achievements
Graceful — Elegant
Diligence — Labour
Painstaking — Laborious
Eminence — Acknowledged superiority
Tedious — Boring
Peerless — Priceless
Lofty — High Maxim ‚ A short, pithy statement expressing a general truth
The most majestic compound fracture of faced which any of woman born has yet achieved — Truth which nobody could achieve
Sewn — Joint, fasten or repair
A truth is not hard to kill, and a lie well told is immortal — A truth can be subdued with fabricated evidences, and an articulated lie lives for many years.
Anesthesia — Insensitivity
Unceasing — Non stop
Preposterous — Utterly absurd or ridiculous
Slander — Action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.
The sorrow and suffering that have caused through the innocent but heedless handling of firearms — Careless use of guns causing damage human lives
Old and gray — Old and experienced
Battered — Injured by repeated blows or punishment
Meddle — Interfering in something that is not one’s concern
Unerring — Flawless