Mark Twain’s Adam and Eve stories complete his otherwise partial and racial portrayal of fictional women with its introduction of Eve, a non-black woman, as well as the first woman of the western, Christian world. The Diaries of Adam and Eve unfolds through the way Twain negotiates his feminist thinking into his writings without losing his warmhearted love of the women surrounding him. I will locate Mark Twain, the author writing under a pseudonym, and Samuel Clemens, the private individual, in the nineteenth-century sex and gender debates and explore Twain’s feminism through the portrayal of his fictional women, Aunt Rachel in “A True Story, Repeated Word for Word As I Hear It,” Roxana from Pudd’nhead Wilson, and most importantly, Eve from his posthumous publication, The Diaries of Adam and Eve. Although I focus mostly on Eve, Aunt Rachel and Roxana help us navigate Twain’s ambivalent positioning in their gendered speech acts and performances. I argue that Twain’s literary trajectory from his creation of provocative, radical African American women to the first woman of the world beyond race demonstrates Twain’s unending literary and psychological negotiation between the “True Women” and the “New Women” gender discourses and his final literary and personal remarks on gender and sexuality.
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