Description: Many Twain scholars believe that his skepticism was based on personal tragedies of later years. Others find skepticism in Twain's work as early as The Innocents Abroad. This study determines that Twain's atheism is evident in his earliest writings. Chapter One examines what critics have determined Twain's religious sense to be. These contentions are discussed in light of recent publications and older, often ignored, evidence of Twain' s atheism. Chapter Two is a biographical look at Twain's literary, family, and community influences, and at events in Twain's life to show that his religious antipathy began when he was quite young. Chapter Three examines Twain's early sketches and journalistic squibs to prove that his voice, storytelling techniques, subject matter, and antipathy towards the church and other institutions are clearly manifested in his early writings.
Date: April 1986
Creator: Britton, Wesley A. (Wesley Alan)