RCC Honors History Project

Post for Mark Twain and the Railroad

Posted by rcchonorshistoy on November 29, 2008

Isn’t it interesting how Mark Twain shows such awe towards the railroad? He describes the dinner on the train and the arrangement of the dinning experience as a “revelation to us.” He further goes on to compliment other aspects of the ride like how fast the trip was. I wonder what Twain would have thought about the train experience of today, especially after all the metrolink accidents. It is interesting how much American’s opinions have changed over time. Today trains travel so fast that the old versions would have been considered slow. Also, the train experience has changed, since the train ride has switched from a fascinating journey to the common daily commute. I think that we take for grant many things that are actually very important to Americans. I wonder what future generations will take for granite that Americans today hold in such high esteem.

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2 Responses to “Post for Mark Twain and the Railroad”

  1. dselinger said

    Back in the days this was a major milestone for civilization. I tried to go even further, what do you think Mark Twain would have thought about airplanes and Space Shuttles? The 20th century gave us such a boost in technology, from TV to computer and space travel. Although our trains today are so much more advanced than back at Twain’s time, people are relating more on airplanes than on train in order to travel great distance in a minimum amount of time. Also what I have found quite interesting is that a train ticket is very expensive compared to air travel. Of course a plain ticket is still more expensive but it brings us to our destination far quicker than Twain ever could have imagined. It is true that we hold a lot of things for granted these days, I can remember when my grandmother had nothing after WWII in Austria, even my parents grew up in poverty and reconstruction. Our generation doesn’t even know how a life would be without proper transportation or even a hot meal every day. This kind of makes me cherish the things we have today and I hope that our children will never come into the position of our ancestors.

  2. kriemer said

    It seems that american youth increasingly takes more and more things for granted; perhaps this is something that was been said for years and as technology advances will continue to be said. The only thing that I could think would stop this trend is the dowfall of america; then american youth would have to revert back to less technologically advanced ways and we’d all find more manual labor in our lives– I am undecided as to whether or not this is a bad thing. Also, I could see why Mark Twain would be amazed by this luxurious train where you can just sit, sleep, or eat and find yourself traveling in a new way across desolate, frontier or simply to and from work. The times surely were changing and as an author, I wouldn’t doubt that Mark Twain was very good at sitting back and marveling at the things before him… Just imagine when we start driving bump-less hover crafts or buzz around on jet packs.

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