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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 17:27:11 +0000
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Jim Zwick <[log in to unmask]>
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The Hawaiian chapters of Roughing It provide some excellent examples
of Twain writing for different audiences because he first wrote much
of the material for publication in predominantly male California and
revised it for national book publication shortly after his marriage.
Here is one useful example:

>From Mark Twain's Letters from Hawaii:

At noon I observed a bevy of nude native young ladies bathing in the
sea, and went down to look at them.  But with a prudery which seems to
be characteristic of that sex everywhere, they all plunged in with a
lying scream, and when they rose to the surface they only just poked
their heads out and showed no disposition to proceed any further in
the same direction.  I was naturally irritated by such conduct, and
therefore I piled their clothes up on a boulder in the edge of the sea
and sat down on them and kept the wenches in the water until they were
pretty well used up.  I had them in the door, as the missionaries say.
 I was comfortable, and I just let them beg.  I thought I could freeze
them out, maybe, but it was impracticable.  I finally gave it up and
went away, hoping that the rebuke I had given them would not be lost
upon them.  I went and undressed and went in myself.  And then they
went out.  I never saw such singular perversity.  Shortly a party of
children of both sexes came floundering around me, and then I quit and
left the Pacific ocean in their possession.

The same incident in Roughing It:

At noon I observed a bevy of nude native young ladies bathing in the
sea, and went and sat down on their clothes to keep them from being
stolen. I begged them to come out, for the sea was rising and I was
satisfied that they were running some risk. But they were not afraid,
and presently went on with their sport. They were finished swimmers
and divers, and enjoyed themselves to the last degree. They swam
races, splashed and ducked and tumbled each other about, and filled
the air with their laughter.  It is said that the first thing an
Islander learns is how to swim; learning to walk being a matter of
smaller consequence, comes afterward....

There are a few other examples of his revisions, with links to the
online texts, in

Mark Twain's Hawaii with and without Mr. Brown

Mark Twain's Hawaii Revised

The searchability of the online texts (Roughing It at the Library of
Congress, and the original letters in Barbara Schmidt's collection of
his early journalism) make comparisons between the texts relatively

Jim Zwick