Dramatic elements in the works of Mark Twain

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1972

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The drama had a distinct influence upon Mark Twain's work, both jn his own theatrical efforts and in his novels and short stories. Twain was long a critic of the drama as a reporter and correspondent, and this interest in the drama had significant effects upon his writing career. Twain's excellence as a writer springs primarily from his use of the dramatic elements of dialogue and sight and sound descriptions. Twain uses many dramatic devices, but it is with his use of dialogue and with his use of the first person narrative technique that he most closely resembles the drama in his novels and short stories.Mark Twain's early interest in the drama developed into his own playwriting attempts. Twain wrote all or part of ten plays with three plays receiving professional production. The plays were (for the most part) failures, both esthetically and financially. Twain failed as a playwright primarily because of his inability to closely structure a play and because he failed to recognize and concentrate on his strongest writing abilities, character development and convincing dialogue.

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