Joan of Arc - “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc” by Mark Twain

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Joan of Arc - “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc” by Mark Twain

"Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc" in Mark Twain's "A Comprehensive Character Analysis"

The book "Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc" by Mark Twain offers an original viewpoint on the historical person Joan of Arc. In this book, Twain—who is best renowned for his satire and humor—took a more serious approach, examining Joan's life through the perspective of Sieur Louis de Conte, a fictionalized portrayal of Joan's page and secretary. This study of Joan of Arc's portrayal in the book will cover a wide range of topics, including her character type, function in the narrative, background, motives, conflicts, relationships, symbolism, character arc, language, and the cultural and historical setting. The intention is to provide readers a thorough grasp of how Joan of Arc is portrayed and shaped by Mark Twain as a literary figure.

Type of Character

Twain presents Joan of Arc as a lively figure. Although she is portrayed in historical accounts as a brave and unwavering character, Twain's account enables an examination of her inner conflicts, uncertainties, and personal development. Her character gains depth as a result, becoming more approachable and real.

Place in the Narrative

The main character in "Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc" is Joan. Her life, her quest to command the French army, and her eventual trial and execution are the main subjects of the story. Joan is a key character in the story, and her deeds have a big influence on what happens in the book.


Knowing Joan's past is essential to comprehending her personality. She was raised in poverty after being born in Domrémy, France, into a peasant family. Her future was determined by her visions of saints and a supernatural calling to assist the dauphin in regaining the French monarchy. Her strong sense of purpose and unrelenting drive are influenced by her heritage.

Characteristics of Personality

Joan of Arc demonstrates a variety of character attributes. She is presented as a brave, devout, and kind person. Notwithstanding the grandeur of her mission, Twain highlights her simplicity and humility. Her heroic image is shaped by her capacity to inspire loyalty in others and her ability to persevere in the face of hardship.

Reasons and Objectives

The main driving force behind Joan's actions is her heavenly calling to free France from English rule. She leads the French army in the face of overwhelming odds because of her steadfast faith and sense of duty. The book delves into the internal struggles she experiences as she struggles with self-doubt and expectations, illuminating the complexity of her reasons.

Difficulties and Conflicts

Throughout the story, Joan deals with both internal and external challenges. She battles skepticism and the anxiety of the supernatural voices leading her leaving her on the inside. She must deal with distrust from those around her, military difficulties, and political intrigue on the outside. Her character is developed and given depth by these struggles.


Joan's interactions with other characters, including the Dauphin, Sieur Louis de Conte, and other court officials, shed light on her personality. She is likable and shows the human side of this historical figure because of her capacity to build relationships based on trust and her sincere concern for others.

Archetypes and Symbolism

As a national hero and a representation of resistance, Joan of Arc has significant symbolic meaning. Twain uses archetypal devices to portray Joan as a brave person on a quest who encounters obstacles similar to those found in the hero's journey. Her martyrdom lends her character further symbolism by signifying sacrifice for a higher good.

Character Development

Over the course of the book, Joan's character goes through a considerable journey. She transforms from a youthful, inexperienced girl led by heavenly voices to a military leader and a figure of hope. Twain depicts her development, her periods of self-doubt, and the eventual sadness of her fate with great care as he follows her path.

Speech and Conversation

Twain gives Joan's character more nuance through his use of words and dialogue. Her speaking patterns emphasize her genuineness and humility, which are reflective of her rural origins. Twain conveys Joan's inner turmoil through conversation, enabling readers to identify with her on a deep emotional level.

Historical and Cultural Background

The historical and cultural milieu of France in the fifteenth century greatly influences Joan's personality. The difficulties Joan confronts are exacerbated by the Hundred Years' War, the convoluted governmental system, and her intense religious beliefs. Knowing this background improves Joan's representation as a person within tumultuous circumstances.

Analytical Angles

Diverse interpretations of "Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc" by critics provide different perspectives on how Twain interpreted Joan's persona. The novel's historical authenticity, Twain's departure from his customary comic style, and the relevance of Joan's portrayal in relation to late 19th-century literature have all been examined by academics. It is easier for the reader to appreciate Twain's creative decisions when they take these viewpoints into account.

Arrange the Content of Your Analysis

This analysis adheres to the guidelines provided in the introduction to guarantee a coherent structure. "Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc" offers a cogent examination of Joan of Arc's persona, with each portion building upon the one before it.

Present Proof

Specific instances from the text are cited throughout the analysis to bolster findings. Claims concerning Joan's characteristics, motives, and actions are supported by direct quotations, scenes, and character interactions.

In summary

To sum up, Mark Twain's depiction of Joan of Arc in "Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc" presents a complex and diverse figure. Twain gives an engrossing and sympathetic portrayal of this historical figure by utilizing a variety of literary techniques and exploring Joan's past, character arc, motivations, conflicts, relationships, symbols, and language. Not only does Joan of Arc become a symbol of bravery, but she also becomes clear as a multifaceted person who faced the difficulties of her day with courage, faith, and a strong sense of purpose. Readers will learn more about Twain's creative decisions and the ongoing literary significance of Joan of Arc's story through this character analysis.