Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Prince and the Pauper

For all his irreverent statements about religion--and God Himself--Mark Twain's Prince and the Pauper reflects the Old Old Story of Jesus and His love.

  1. A prince discovers a poor lad who looks very much like himself. They trade places: the pauper becoming the prince and the prince becoming the pauper (just as Christ came from the glories of heaven to identify with all mankind and invites us to partake of His glorious kingdom).
  2. While living among the poor, the prince is abused and treated with disdain (just as Christ certainly was treated with disrespect and hideous abuse).
  3. The pauper, a picture of the believer in Jesus Christ, freely confesses that he is only in the court because he looks like the prince who traded places with him (just as the believer confesses his identification with the One who took his place on the cross).
  4. Meanwhile, evil men in court as well as in the world try to derail the testimony of both the prince and the pauper (just as Satan and his minions attempt to achieve their ends through devious means).
I'm sure there are other pictures of Christ in this story. Did Mark Twain intend for them to be there? Do you know? Have you read anything about this?


  1. Mark Twain was no friend to Christ: http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/twain.htm.

  2. Then isn't it so like God to have Mark Twain, possibly even without knowing it, re-tell portions of the gospel story, reaching millions of people who wouldn't read the Bible.