Why Biographical Interpretation Works Many literary works come across as hard for explanation, it's been a problem since literature has been a main stay in society. Over time many styles of interpretation have been both approached and adapted by readers and critics alike. One of the most popular is the biographical interpretation. This is when a reader makes use of details regarding the life, times and works of an author as a means of solving interpretive problems. The biographical interpretation is a very good way to get inside the readers head because the past, and your past experiences are what shape your mind as it matures over time, even the smallest experience can make a decent sized impact on one's thought process. Mark Twain is a good example of an author that has been analyzed, possibly even over analyzed. By every angle he has been looked at, most notably for his works on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If you were to read his book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn without taking a look at any biographical pieces about Mark Twain you would undoubtedly not get as much out of the novel as you would in contrast, if you were to read the biography. To prove the point the help of the semi-biographical essay The Life of Samuel Clemens and the Reception of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will be called upon throughout the essay.
At the beginning of the biographical essay there is an excellent explanation of the personal side of Twain "the only clear picture is that Twain was a man of paradox" (pg. 19). The reason this excerpt fits the topic of biographical interpretation is because one key word within that quote, that key word being paradox.