Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day 772: Mark Twain

To the average Walt Disney World fan, Mark Twain plays a central role in several of the most popular attractions...or at least two rather. In my Classic American Novels course, it makes perfect sense to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and of course, while talking about Mark Tain I just get a little distracted because, well, Tom Sawyer Island and The American Adventure.

I feel like it's almost comical at this point how many times I'm able to relate The American Adventure to something, but not including it here would just seem ridiculous, so let's head there first. Obviously, Mark Twain is one of the two co-hosts of the show, right alongside Ben Franklin, and from the perspective of an English major, having Twain there just opens a world of possibility. I also greatly appreciate the references to Steinbeck, although in reality I haven't read as much of his work as I'd like to. Still, English and the American Novel has played a key role in our society, and if it hasn't played one, it definitely can teach us about the impact of certain events, ideals and people. Enough of my "English is important" speech though.

The real references to Twain come from another Disney park, specifically The Magic Kingdom, where Tom Sawyer Island sits amongst the mountains and steamboats. As a kid, Tom Sawyer Island was one of my absolute favorite locations, and I do believe I've mentioned it a time or two before, especially about how I would pretend to be a part of the Fort Langhorn gang and use the escape route because whatever villain it was was coming for us. It was a good time.

Speaking of Fort Langhorn, that right there is a prominent example of how I intended to make myself appear smart in class, as Mark Twain was simply a writer's name. His real name was Samuel Langhorn Clemens! Alas, we ran out of time during that class period, so I never had the chance to appear brilliant thanks to my Mark Twain-Disney knowledge, but it's the thought that counts, right?

But the best part about Tom Sawyer Island? You get to be part of the adventure itself. Reading novels like Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, dead cats and all, is an adventure, one that many wish they could experience for themselves. You can do that at Disney, where the story is brought to life on the island that's featured in the novel.

Because becoming a pirate? That sounds like a pretty great life. Minus the whole witnessing a murder and pretending to be dead thing. Let's just stray away from those. A sandwich from Aunt Polly however (or at least make in the day), now that sounds like a grand idea!

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on February 23).