Although August is in love with Marget, Marget only loves August when she is sleeping and he appears in her dreams which he does by making himself invisible. In these dreams, Marget thinks that her own name is Elisabeth von Arnim, and that August's name is Martin von Giesbach. Later, after Emil is believed to have entered Marget's bedroom at night, Heinrich Stein commands that he marry Marget.
However, Emil is soon afterward dissolved into thin air by Number 44, so August no longer has a rival for Marget's love. Emil Schwarz is the Duplicate of August Feldner and looks exactly like him. While Marget falls in love with the August who appears in her dreams, during her waking hours she is in love with Emil. August thus regards Emil as his rival for Marget's love. When the master commands that Emil must marry Marget, August hopes to prevent the marriage.
However, Emil discusses the situation with August, and admits that he really doesn't care if he marries Marget or not. Emil states that he is August's Dream-Self, and normally roams freely throughout time and space while August is asleep. Emil begs to be released from the physical body of August's Duplicate, in which he is trapped. Number 44 arrives, disguised as Balthasar the magician, and grants Emil's wish by magically dissolving his body into thin air, so that he can return to the Dream-World.
Heinrich Stein, a man in his mids, is the master of the print shop. He is referred to throughout the story as "the master. He has a kindly disposition, but is not very effective in asserting himself with his family and employees. The master decides to take Number 44 into the castle and employ him as an apprentice in the print shop. Despite the complaints of the other print shop workers, Stein refuses to send Number 44 away. When the men go on strike just before a large Bible publishing order is due, the master becomes so distraught that he falls ill and takes to his bed. After the Bibles are magically published on time, Stein immediately recovers his health.
Oh no, there's been an error
Marie Vogel is the seventeen-year-old daughter of Frau Stein from a previous marriage, and lives in the castle. Like her mother, she has a mean disposition. Ernest Wasserman is a seventeen-year-old apprentice who lives in the castle and works in the print shop. In "The Mysterious Stranger," Twain uses magic as an allegory for the realm of dreams and the imagination. In the Dream-World of our imaginations, he suggests, we can do and be anything, as if by magic. Twain fills his tale with numerous magical occurrences. Some of the magical elements of "The Mysterious Stranger" are directly associated with the realm of dreams.
The Duplicates who appear in the castle one night turn out to be the embodiment of the Dream-Selves of the men they resemble. Emil further explains that the Dream-Self comes alive only when the Waking-Self is asleep. The Dream-Self normally has no physical existence, and so is free to roam throughout time and space at will.
However, the Dream-Self is dependent on the physical existence of the Waking-Self—it is born with the individual and dies with the individual.
Twain thus makes a distinction between the Waking-Self, or Day-Self, which is the physical being who goes to work each day, and the Dream-Self, which emerges when we are sleeping and is free from the constraints of physical existence. Number 44 performs such magical feats as mind-reading, flying, becoming invisible, time travel, and many other wondrous things. Number 44's extensive magical powers represent the possibilities of the human imagination, the powers of which reach far beyond what humans are capable of in their waking or conscious lives.
August is introduced to Number 44's way of perceiving reality, and so his mind is expanded to encompass a greater range of possibilities than he had previously imagined. In the conclusion to the story, Number 44 asserts that everything in the universe is a dream, a creation of the human imagination: " Nothing exists; all is a dream. God—man—the world,—the sun, the moon, the wilderness of stars: a dream, all a dream. Thought is also a central theme of "The Mysterious Stranger.
Historians regard the dawning of the print age as an extremely important development in the history of modern thought. New developments that made mass-publishing possible meant that books could be made available to a much broader segment of the population than ever before. This increased availability of books meant that the spread of knowledge and ideas throughout Europe increased tremendously.
The print shop where August works is a very small operation located in a remote Austrian village, yet it represents a bastion of enlightenment within a community steeped in superstition and ignorance. As August explains, in printing was still a new art, and "almost unknown in Austria. Very few persons in our secluded region had ever seen a printed page, few had any very clear idea about the art of printing, and perhaps still fewer had any curiosity concerning it or felt any interest in it. August thus stands on the cusp of two different eras in the history of human thought.
On the one hand, he was raised in the village and shares the traditional, medieval superstitions and limited viewpoint of the townspeople. On the other hand, working in the print shop, publishing books on a variety of subjects, including math, science, and philosophy, he is exposed to cutting edge advances in knowledge and ideas. The appearance of Number 44 further expands August's knowledge and understanding of the world.
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Number 44 frequently makes references to the future, and often offers food to August that comes from time periods and cultures that don't yet exist. Number 44 also takes August back in time, exposing him to a broad-sweeping perspective on human history. August's newly acquired perspective on human civilization helps to expand his mind and further enlighten him to ideas beyond the confines of his remote and backward little village.
Toward the end of the story, Number 44 tells August that he is nothing more than pure Thought, and that Thought is the true essence of human existence.
Thus, all of the events of the story are related solely from August's point-of-view. This limited first-person narrative point-of-view is central to the story. Toward the end, Number 44 asserts that everything in August's universe is a creation of his own imagination. Because the story is told from August's perspective, it is entirely possible that he has merely imagined these people, places, and events, or even that the entire story is a dream from which he will soon awaken.
Local color fiction is characterized by a focus on small communities existing within a specific region of the United States, and exhibiting habits, customs, and cultural practices specific to that region. Twain's fiction often takes place in the American South, among small communities along the Mississippi River. Although "The Mysterious Stranger" takes place in Austria, it shares some characteristics of local color fiction, in that it is set in a small, remote village community in which the inhabitants share many superstitions and many qualities of regional quaintness.
Many critics have noted that Twain based his fictional town of Eseldorf, Austria, on his own experiences growing up in the small town of Hannibal, Missouri. By setting his story in a remote time and place, and by infusing it with elements of magic and fantasy, Twain is able to explore themes of dreams and the imagination without limiting himself to the requirements of realist fiction. Through the fantastical character of Number 44, Twain ultimately postulates that the realm of dreams, fantasy, and the imagination are more relevant to human experience than are the experiences we associate with concrete, physical reality.
For many centuries, Austria was not a nation, but a duchy within the Roman Empire. Beginning in the thirteenth century, the Austrian region was ruled by the hereditary House of Habsburg, which lasted until the early twentieth century. Frederik inherited the position of arch-duke of the Austrian lands in In he was elected king of Germany, and in he was crowned Roman Emperor. Like the magician in Twain's story, Frederik had a strong interest in studying astrology and magic, as well as alchemy. Upon his death in , Frederik was succeeded by his son, Maximilian I.
Like his father, Maximilian I eventually ruled as emperor of Rome, king of Germany, and archduke of Austria. During the sixteenth century, under Maximilian I, the Habsburg dynasty reached the height of its powers, becoming a major European force. By various means, including marriage, military pressure, and treaties, Maximilian added to the Austrian territories the Netherlands, Hungary, Bohemia, Burgundy, Spain, and the Spanish empire, including colonial holdings in the Americas. The process of modern book printing first developed in Europe over the course of the fifteenth century. Twain thus sets his story at a time when printing was still a relatively new process, and represented a significant advance in the intellectual history of Europe.
The development of the printing press made it possible for greater numbers of people to have access to knowledge and ideas through the dissemination of larger quantities of books at lower prices. Today: Austria is an independent democratic nation with a parliamentary system of government, based on the constitution of revised in All adult males have the right to vote.
Due to the aggressive policies of the United States government, Native Americans have become a small minority in America, most of them living on reservations. Today: The United States remains a democratic nation. All adults, both men and women, have the right to vote. Most Native Americans still live on reservations, although, since the s, Native Americans have organized to achieve equal civil rights.
Among these new technologies are the use of steam engines to mechanize the printing press, advances in the reproduction of multi-color illustrations, the use of cylindrical devices for transferring ink to paper, and the integration of photographic processes. A significant advance made in is the development of a technique known as "offset" printing.
Some aspects of the printing process once performed by individual craftsmen have now been mechanized. Today: Advances in computer technology have significantly altered many aspects of book-printing. Many steps in the printing process once performed by individual craftsmen or mechanical machines are now accomplished through computer technology.
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Books can even be purchased from retailers on the Internet and printed at home by the consumer. The innovation that inaugurated modern printing methods was the invention of moveable type. Moveable type involves individual letters or characters carved or molded out of wood, clay, or metal, which can be arranged to create a text. When ink is applied to these letters, they can be impressed upon a piece of paper in order to reproduce the text. In Asia, various methods of movable type were developed between the 11th and 14th centuries.
However, this knowledge did not find its way to Europe, and so European methods of print developed later and along different lines. The innovations of the German printer Johannes Gutenberg advanced European printing methods by creating a moveable type, inventing a mechanized printing press, and developing an ink compatible with this process. Gutenberg's printing process is dated from the s; his most significant achievement was the publication of the bible now known as the Gutenberg Bible, the first complete book to be printed in Europe using moveable type.
Gutenberg's inventions are regarded as a watershed in European intellectual history, ushering in the dawn of the modern printing age. The printing methods he invented remained essentially unchanged until the nineteenth century, when a number of significant improvements were made to the process. In order to appreciate critical reactions to "The Mysterious Stranger," it is important to understand the problems that have arisen regarding the manuscripts on which published versions of the story have been based.
Upon his death, Twain left behind three different unpublished manuscripts of three different stories sharing a number of similarities. The first published version of a story entitled "The Mysterious Stranger" became available in However, during the s, scholars came to the conclusion that this version of the story had been significantly tampered with by editors and was not true to Twain's intentions. Paine and Duneka created this illegitimate text by grafting the ending of one story "No.
In , Twain's original manuscript entitled "No.
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Scholars have since agreed that the "Paine-Duneka text" should no longer be regarded as a legitimate work, and that this more recent version is the only one which should be presented to readers as "The Mysterious Stranger," by Mark Twain. William M. Gibson, in an "Introduction" to Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts , referred to the Paine-Duneka text as "an editorial fraud," based on a version of the story which was "cut, cobbled-together, partially falsified.
Kahn, in Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger: A Study of the Manuscript Texts , somewhat more charitably remarked, "Paine's arrogant procedure, however sincere, muddied the waters of Mark Twain scholarship for two generations. Understandably, much of the critical discussion of "No.
Critical discussion of the story itself has tended to focus on two central questions: Who is Number 44? Critics agreed that the identity of the supernatural character Number 44 is ambiguous. Kahn observed, "the mystery of the stranger's identity is one of the chief cruxes of the plot in 'No. What is the nature of No. He is simultaneously an impish prankster, a satanic figure, a benevolent fatalist, a childlike innocent, a philosophical pragmatist, a social determinist, a showman and performer, dream substance, and, perhaps most important, an artist and creator.
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Critics have explored the implications of the final chapter of "The Mysterious Stranger" from several different perspectives. Many have asserted that the story's conclusion is a celebration of the imaginative mind and the process of artistic creation. Others have examined the philosophical implications of the conclusion, suggesting that it resonates with the philosophy of Plato or Descartes. Kahn summed up Twain's achievement in commenting that "No.
Brent holds a Ph. In this essay, Brent discusses Twain's use of print shop terminology in "No. August Feldner, the narrator of Mark Twain's "No. August often describes events, situations, and characters in terms familiar to the printing trade.
No. 44 the Mysterious Stranger
Thus, throughout the story, he expresses himself through metaphors drawn from printing terminology. In comparing the personality of Marie Vogel, the step-daughter of the print master, to that of Marget Regen, the niece of the print master, August makes extensive use of metaphors drawn from the printer's trade. He describes Marie Vogel in the following terms:.
She was a second edition of her mother—just plain galley-proof, neither revised nor corrected, full of turned letters, wrong fonts, outs and doubles, as we say in the printing-shop—in a word pi.
In stating that Marie was "a second edition of her mother," August indicates that, just as the second edition of a published book is almost exactly the same as the first edition, so Marie resembles her mother almost exactly. In describing her as "just plain galley-proof, neither revised nor corrected," August is referring to a preliminary stage in the printing of a book before it has been edited, revised, and corrected. He then lists a variety of errors that can occur in a print text at this stage in the process: "turned letters" are letters that are upside down; "wrong fonts" are letters in the wrong size or design; "outs" are letters that have been accidentally left out of a text; and "doubles" are words that have been accidentally repeated.
August sums up his description of Marie in describing her as "pi," which is a printer's term referring to a hodge-podge of mixed-up type, such as may result from dropping a form filled with individual letters of movable type. In other words, Marie has an extremely flawed personality, similar to the flawed text of a galley-proof, which contains many errors, or a jumble of individual letters of print type, without order or significance. In contrast to his description of Marie Vogel, whom he doesn't like, August uses print terminology to express his admiration for Marget Regen, whom he is in love with.
He states, "She was a second edition of what her mother had been at her age; but struck from the standing forms and needing no revising, as one says in the printing-shop. Like Marie, Marget is described as a "second edition" of her mother.
However, while Marie is compared to a text that is full of flaws and errors, Marget is compared to a text that is perfect and flawless. Standing forms are trays of type that have already been set and corrected, and can be made available for printing subsequent editions of a book. Thus, in describing Marget as "struck from the standing forms" he implies that, as her mother was also flawless, she in turn inherited her mother's perfect character without alteration. That Marget "needs no revising" means that, like a text that is without errors, she is without flaws and perfect as is.
Later in the story, Doangivadam, an itinerant printer, also uses terminology from the printing trade to express himself metaphorically. When Doangivadam asks Number 44's name, and Number 44 replies, "No. In the hurry of going to press, let's dock it to Forty-Four and put the rest on the standing-galley and let it go for left-over at half rates.
Doangivadam is responding to the fact that Number 44's full name is rather long, and a mouthful to pronounce. He suggests that "in the hurry of going to press," meaning to save time, they shorten his name to Forty-Four. A standing-galley is a place where units of type are stored for reuse; thus he suggests the extraneous letters and digits in Number 44's name "New Series, ," , be set aside as extraneous material. Further, he jokingly implies that these extraneous elements of Number 44's name could be sold off at half-price for reuse by someone else.
At another point in the story, August tells the old cook Katrina of his experience of Ernest, a fellow printer, exposing him to ridicule and anger from the other men working in the shop. Ernest had found out that August had secretly become friends with Number 44, and he had announced this fact to the other men. August comments that Katrina, who sides with Number 44, "was full of pity for me and maledictions for Ernest, and promised him a piece of her mind, with foot-notes and illustrations.
Here, August uses the book printing concepts of foot-notes and illustrations as a metaphor to indicate that Katrina expressed in graphic terms with detailed explanations her desire to punish Ernest for threatening to harm him. Through the narration of August, Twain further employs metaphors drawn from printing technology in the introduction of the characters referred to as Duplicates, who are magical copies of the print shop workers, referred to as the Originals. An original in printing refers to an original piece of text, whereas duplicate refers to a printed copy of the original.
As in print an original version of a text is regarded as more authentic, so the men referred to as Originals in the story regard themselves as the authentic versions of their bodily forms, while the Duplicates are seen as mere copies. When, toward the end of the story, Number 44 creates an eclipse to darken the sky, then disappears in a blinding flash of light before the eyes of a crowd of people, August states that the effect of the eclipse made Number 44's dramatic display of magic "grand and stunning—just letter-perfect, as it seemed to me.
So August expresses his awe and wonder at the spectacle Number 44 has created, regarding it as a magnificent event that was carried off to perfection. With the stylistic device of employing terminology from the printing process as a basis for metaphorical descriptions in "No. Liz Brent, Critical Essay on "No. In the following essay, Royal examines the enigmatic nature of the character of No. In his later fiction Twain most fully explores the dynamics of authority and its relationship to the culture of his time.
In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Pudd'nhead Wilson, and the Mysterious Stranger manuscripts, he wrestles with larger troubling issues in ways that he had not, or could not, in his earlier works, and invests these ongoing dialogues in three of the most dominating characters in his canon. Whereas most of their predecessors were either two-dimensional or exceedingly forthright representations, Hank Morgan, David Wilson, and No. This Twainian power figure is given full, and often disturbing, expression in his completed works, A Connecticut Yankee and Pudd'nhead Wilson.
Control lies at the heart of Hank Morgan's sojourn at Camelot. Toggle navigation. Sign Up. Sign In. Get No. Download the Study Guide. Download Lesson Plans. Study Pack. The No. Author Biography. Plot Summary. Chapter Summaries. Free Quiz. Historical Context. Critical Overview. Critical Essay 1. Topics for Further Study. Compare and Contrast. What Do I Read Next?
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