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Samuel Langhorne Clemens for nearly half a century was acknowledged and distinguished as Mark Twain. He was born in Hannibal Missouri on November 30, 1835 to Jane Lampton and John Marshall Clemens. Mark Twain began his life of writing while working with a diverse group of newspapers and magazines including the Hannibal Courier as journeyman printer. As a journeyman printer Mark Twain would be exposed to several literary works and become a passionate reader. Mark Twain didn't become a legendary writer until he started to compose short stories and novels. Two short stories that Twain wrote which are called "The Californians Tale" and "A Dogs Tale" shared a common theme. This is the theme of devotion.

In "A Dogs Tale", Twain explains the background of a Presbyterian named Aileen Movoureen. Twain starts out with the beginning of her life when she was a puppy and tells of how her mother fooled other dogs into thinking that she was highly educated when in reality she really wasn't. She would just listen very carefully to her master's conversations and pick up on what they were saying. Then Twain writes about how Aileen is sold to a family and receives a new master. Here at this new house Aileen is loved and cherished. Devotion is shown when a fire erupts during the winter in the nursery section of the house. The master's baby is sleeping in a cradle next to the fireplace. All of a sudden, the drape that was around the cradle catches on fire and the baby began to scream. Aileen rapidly jumped up and began to scurry towards the door. Then she stops and thinks about how there a baby is lying in a cradle helpless. So she runs back and sticks her head through the flames, risking her own life, to save the masters baby. This can be found in the text when Twain wrote "before I could think, I sprang to the floor in my fright and in a second was half way to the door; but in the next half second my mother's farewell was sounding in my ears and I was back on the bed again. I reached my head through the flames and dragged the baby out by the waist band and tugged it along and we fell to the floor together in a cloud of smoke"(20). As she dragged the baby out of the room and towards the hallway, the master thought that Aileen was attacking the baby. So he hammered her with a stick causing Aileen to start running. She eventually runs away but devotion is once again shown through Aileen when she eventually comes back to the master's family despite being wounded by the master. Throughout this entire story, the theme of devotion can clearly be seen. The canine stays loyal to the master no matter what occurs.




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