Clemens's first novel, The Gilded Age, which he coauthored with Charles Dudley Warner, is a notable exception to this general pattern. His family members served as models for major characters, but Clemens did not closely identify anyone in the book. His father's insolvency and the grinding poverty of his childhood years were reflected in the book. The main focus of the book is directed upward to the folly of the larger public but Clemens's considerable moral energy in the novel seldom turned inward upon himself. In channeling his anger outward toward others he avoids a personal self-reckoning on the same highly charged issue. The Gilded Age is in contrast to the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It is a social and political satire of decidedly adult nature, while The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a rural and highly autobiographical idyll written for and about children.
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