Innocents Abroad

A review of the book “Innocents Abroad” by Mark Twain about his visit to the Holy Land.

This paper analyzes the book “Innocents Abroad” that started as a series of letters written by Mark Twain for a newspaper in San Francisco concerning his 1867 trip to the Holy Land. It examines how the purpose of the book was reveal to others what he had seen with his own eyes, the reality of the world separated from the interferences of pretense and convention and how the book that resulted is a mixture of irreverence and the promotion of America as an ideal. It discusses one of the central themes in the book which is the degree to which the reality differs from the expectations of the narrator and how he realizes that Americans (at the time) really were ignorant of the rest of the world.
“Attitudes like this are only one reason why Americans tend to keep themselves isolated, even American officials, as Twain notes when discussing his visit to Tangiers: “When we went to call on our American Consul General, today, I noticed that all possible games for parlor amusement seemed to be represented on his center tables. I thought that hinted at lonesomeness. The idea was correct. His is the only American family in Tangier. There are many foreign consuls in this place; but much visiting is not indulged in. Tangier is clear out of the world, and what is the use of visiting when people have nothing on earth to talk about? (Twain 62).”