Jane Clemens

Jane Lampton Clemens, mother of Sam Clemens, was the playful, unpredictable, humorous mother of Samuel Clemens. The primary roles she played in Clemens's life were endowing him with a sense of humor and a love of play as well as providing an attentive audience for his stories. At the age of nineteen, she married the "somber and unaffectionate" John Clemens to "spite another man"(Kaplan 13). Like her husband, she was poor but proud of her gentry lineage. She gave birth to seven children, with Samuel coming in sixth. Samuel Clemens describes his mother best when he writes, "My mother was very much alive, [her] age contented for nothing; fond of excitement, fond of novelties, fond of anything going was of a sort proper for members of the Church to indulge in..."(Trombley 11). Again he writes, "She was of a sunshine disposition, and her long life was mainly a holiday for her. She always had the heart of a young girl. Through all of the family troubles she maintained a kind of perky stoicism which was lighted considerably by her love of gossip, gaudy spectacles like parades and funerals, bright colors, and animals"(Trombley 14).

From all accounts, it was Clemens father who provided the stern and disciplined upbringing. It appears that Jane's influence can most probably be observed in the playful and humorous characters in Twain's works - but these tend to be the male protagonist. Nevertheless, if Jane had to be associated with some female characters, it would most likely be with these characters - for the sole reason that they are loving mother figures or women who share some of the same characteristics:

Aunt Polly
Aunt Sally