What Did Mark Twain Believe In

Mark Twain, or Samuel Clemens, is often referred to as an American literary giant. He churned out books, essays, stories and novels that entertained readers for generations and often his works were about the virtues of ordinary Americans. Twain was a man of strong convictions and many of his beliefs were shaped by the temperance movement and the anti-slavery movement of the 1800s, both of which he was an avid supporter of. He was a staunch believer in equal rights for all, regardless of color or creed. Twain was a vocal advocate for the abolishment of slavery, civil rights and education for all.

Twain strongly opposed any form of tyranny and advocated for the rights of “the least of these”, which he wrote into many of his books. He was a firm believer in the power of education. He considered education to be the great liberator, as he said in his book “Life On The Mississippi:” “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Twain was an advocate for open knowledge, believing that anyone should have easy access to learning, no matter their background.

Twain was a strong believer in women’s rights and was an early advocate of the women’s suffrage movement. He wrote extensively in his book “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” about a woman who refused to accept the status quo and fought against oppressive male authority. He also wrote about gender roles and encouraged women to pursue their ambitions and dreams, noting that a woman’s intellect is equal to a man’s.

One of the most prominent beliefs of Mark Twain was his admiration for individuality. He believed that each individual has the right to express themselves, no matter what society might dictate. He wrote extensively on the theme of freedom and encouraged people to embrace their own identities, recognizing that freedom is essential to becoming the best version of oneself that they can be. In his book “Tom Sawyer”, he wrote “Every man has his own souls to be saved from sin and dangers.”

Twain was an agnostic, a philosophy that leaves questions about the existence of a god or the afterlife unanswered. He believed in using science and philosophy to explore the realities of life on earth, rather than faith and religious dogma. He saw the misuse of religion as a tool for control, a mission against which any freedom-loving person should fight. His criticism of religious institutions was apparent in his book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” in which he wrote “Religion is the only thing that can make a person truly happy and content in life.”

Mark Twain was a champion of truth in all its forms and believed that truth had a special place in society. He believed that truth should never be tainted with lies and if someone should ever lie, they should have a strong reason for doing so. This belief was embodied in his writing style, where he aimed to cut through the sort of hypocrisy that often pervaded society. This can be seen in his book “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” in which he wrote: “Let us be honest with ourselves, for honesty is a cornerstone of character.”

Twain was a champion for humanity and equality and believed in using education to bring about positive social change. He was a highly acclaimed writer and was deeply concerned with the state of the world, often using his work to bring attention to issues of poverty, oppression and injustice. He supported the temperance movement and the anti-slavery movement, both of which he ardently believed in and championed throughout his life.


Although political and social issues were important to Mark Twain, he also understood the value of humor and the power of it to help people find joy in life. Twain was an avid humorist, and his writing often focused on funny moments in life. He wrote extensively about the absurdity of many of the prevalent social customs and conventions of his time, finding the humor in everyday life. His works featured many characters with a healthy sense of humor and he encouraged readers to take life lightly, noting that laughter could often bridge class and social divides.


Mark Twain also wrote extensively about adventure and celebrated the idea of venturing into the unknown. He wrote about people who explored the unknown and embraced adventure in his books, such as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. He often wrote about characters taking risks and venturing out into the wilderness, showing the power of adventure in helping one find their true identity.


One of the key beliefs of Mark Twain was the importance of morality. He believed in strong moral values and taught his readers to always strive for the greater good in life. He taught his readers to think beyond their own selfish desires and strive to help others, to act with justice and fairness. Twain wrote extensively about the moral dilemmas that his characters faced and the difficult choices that they had to make, emphasizing the importance of living with a moral compass.

Self Reflection

Twain believed in the power of self-reflection and encouraged his readers to constantly look within themselves and ask questions. He wrote “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” as an admonition to reflect on one’s own actions and choices, and to question their beliefs and values. Twain believed that through self-reflection and contemplation, a person could realize their true identity and purpose in life.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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