Fully entitled "The Innocents Abroad, or the New Pilgrims' Progress," Twain's colorful travelogue is a compilation of the newspaper articles he wrote while on a cruise to Europe, Egypt, and the Holy Land with other Americans. His account frequently uses humor to describe the people and places he visits, although this becomes highly satiric at times as Twain becomes frustrated with European profiteering, a pointless historical anecdote in Gibraltar, and the overly institutionalized nature of countries like Italy. Where he critiques, however, he also feels a strange reverence, as in the Canary Islands and the Holy Land. A more serious theme also flows through Twain's experience. Twain sees the conflict between history and the modern world as he travels with Americans through much older civilizations, where they discover that they shouldn't simply believe their guidebooks or what they are told by foreigners. In this landmark novel, Twain seems to search for the American identity after he has left home and embarked on an adventure across the world.
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January 01, 2013
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