Two Views of the River Mississippi

284 views 5 pages ~ 1130 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Mark Twain explains the concept on the Mississippi River from two perspectives or angles and utilizes contrast and comparison to elaborate his points. As the novel opens, Mark uses metaphor in his opening words. He compares the Mississippi river to the language that he has become proficient at. The things that Mark Twain encounters about the river can be compared and contrasted with the real-life experience of a person considering the fact that they are metaphorically used. For instance, Twain notes several changes about river Mississippi such as its appearance (Twain., 1883) As such, the changes in the appearance of the river can be compared with a person who is initially naïve but has gained wisdom through experience. This essay provides an insight into the comparison between changes that have happened to the river Mississippi and transformations that happen to an individual.

Mark Twain utilizes a block comparison pattern in his story. The reason for this is that he initially elucidates about the beautiful experiences he is having the first time he sees the river only things to change during the second visit where he describes a less lively experience (Twain., 1883). Twain argues that when he discovered the mastery of the river Mississippi, he noted that he had already lost something special about the river which was his admiration when he saw it for the first time. He also describes how the wonderful and majestic the rivers were when he saw them on a steamboat. Mark compares the color of the river, the ripples in the water among other tiny details in the course of the sunset between the first and the second encounter (Twain., 1883). He maintains that during the second encounter, everything that was good about the river is no longer there. The two contrasting comments regarding the river fundamentally elaborates things like experiences which have turn out to be less fulfilling or exciting during the second time. That is, a person who has already gone through something passes by it the next time. When reflecting on the author in the story, he just observed and read the river Mississippi instead of marveling at it since he had seen it earlier.

The changes that have happened in the appearance of the river can be compared with the passing over of a person from naivety to wisdom. Additionally, it can be compared to the manner in which things in life lose their relevance when nothing new is invented. As times passes by when an individual realizes that what he wanted to come to pass actually turns out to be something insignificant and trivial in his eyes when he discovers the fact about it. The manner in which Mark says ‘the language of the water’ (Twain., 1883) takes me back to the things in our daily lives. For instance, the businesses which we have opened and are trying to become experts in. Undeniably, we work so hard to achieve our goals and become great in the society and in this way we understand each and every aspect of that object, the same the river was to Mark Twain.

Further, the world is still a great place and life remains to be a precious jewel which matters more than anything else. Nevertheless, in most cases, we overlook and see the beauty of the world for the reason that we have come across dark pits, in the same way that we find life difficult to appreciate due to the unfairness and irony of it. Every individual is born an optimist and idealist but as time goes by the optimism and idealism is lost as that person encounters hardships in life. The experiences he achieves teaches him many things and leaves him strong enough to overcome the stumbling blocks of the present. However, this eliminates some of the beauty from his eyes

The primary purpose that is making Mark compare “Two views of the River “is to contrast the wariness which comes with experience and the bliss of ignorance. The essay juxtaposes the descriptions of the same part of the river as it is viewed by the same person – Mark Twain (Twain., 1883). However, the difference which is the focal point of this paper lies in the observer and not the river – we first meet Twain as a young interne who later develops into an experienced riverboat pilot (Twain., 1883). Every depiction of the river appears in a complete picture because it is presented in its comprehensiveness. The memory of Twain about the early scene is a meticulous romantic representation of the Mississippi River during sunset. He contrasts the various types of ‘boiling, tumbling rings’ (Twain., 1883) which brightens the water surface with the colors in an opal. On the other hand, the second view of the river, grounded on an assumption, has been established upon the elements that are similar to the first. Nonetheless, the expertise of the pilot enables him to reveal the dangers innate in the scene. Therefore, the opal-tinted rings epitomize a bar that is dissolving as well as a changing channel.

The way Mark Twain mentions about romance can be compared to falling in love. When a person falls in love, he or she is in a fantasy world which to him or her appears like a rose-tinted glass. The person sees only the wonders of this world and refuses to accept that it has its bad side. As soon as the glass is removed, he or she can recall all the memories. Moreover, she can also reminisce all the happiness and thrills which made him or her feel the same way Twain feels when he falls in love with the river. When Twain learns everything he wants to know, he discovers that he has found out something worthy (Twain., 1883). Nonetheless, he has also lost something that he will never recapture or regain again - and maybe it is his capacity to dream. What he finds disillusions him but recalls the way he used to be and how he viewed things. Each of the beauty he had seen before turns jaded – perhaps his perspective has changed – but it also makes him sad to learn so.


In a nutshell, Twain’s essay is short to allow the readers to recall the experiences which have been presented separately for the purpose of comparison. It has been arranged like that to get the effect of recreating the first view of the river Mississippi before Twain progresses to explain the disillusioning second key phrases and words like tumbling rings. He has also presented his points chronologically to promote comparison. As discussed above the appearance of the river can be compared and contrasted with his real-life experience – the river has been presented in visual terms


Twain M.  (1883). Two Views of the Mississippi, Chapter 9: Continued Perplexities. Penguin,

August 21, 2023


Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Mark Twain
Verified writer

Tony is a caring and amazing writer who will help you with anything related to English literature. As a foreign exchange student, I received the best kind of help. Thank you so much for being there for me!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro