Twain's Attack On Humanity Of Humankind

1609 words - 7 pages

In the novel Letters from the Earth, Twain reveals his hatred towards humankind, and illustrates his distrust for people in general. This dark satire is nothing like the other books that I have read by Twain, but I enjoyed it more. Because of the novels content it was not published until years after his death. The most interesting topics that Twain proposes were that of man versus animal, and free will versus determinism. It poses ambiguous questions about human morals and humanitarian roots which have no distinct answers.Twain learned most of his beliefs and morals from his mother. According to Thomas Vernon, "from her Mark Twain inherited many specific tastes and tendencies- his love of ...view middle of the document...

The cat moderate- unhumanly moderate: she only scares the mouse, she does not hurt it; she doesn't dig out its eyes, or tear off its skin, or drive splinters under its nails-man-fashion; when she is done playing with it she makes a sudden meal of it and puts it out of its trouble. Man is the Cruel Animal. He is alone in that distinction". (236) Twain mentions several ways described in detail how man is cruel. Reading the "Lowest Animal" one can see, while humans are smart, they are in fact inferior to many animals. Instead of using our abilities carefully we use them to our own advantage to seek and destroy which often creative negative outcomes.Humans have their own system of beliefs that I believe are deteriorating and dwindling away. All around us we see declining morality and spirituality evidenced by pornography, abortion, crime, drug abuse, and all sorts of belief systems. In the article "Science, Religion, Politics, Law, and Education", by Tim Berra he states, "If humans share ancestry with the other animals, we have no reason to behave as anything other than animals. This view neglects the fact that humans are the only known animals with the ability to contemplate the consequences of their own actions." We see the actions of humans all the time, just turn on the nightly news; the sad thing is animals wouldn't even behave as poorly as humans do. Twain does a great job explaining how disgusting humans really are. After reading "The Damned Human Race" I realized "we are not as important, perhaps, as we had all along supposed we were. (242)Due to the fall of humanity free choice is left in every ones mind, meaning that temptation will always be in the conscious. People are engaged to act out, because it's exciting and fun to break the rules. We see this in our everyday lives on a daily basis. It's kind of like when someone tells you not to press the red button and you do it, because you were told not to. Humans have the ability to make decisions and reason which allows us to make poor decisions towards other human beings. In this letter Twain makes us as humans question our existence. Do we deserve to exist?Ideologies are the assumptions we have that are left without saying; the beliefs that we have but don't recognize as beliefs at all such as women being inferior to men. Twain challenges the belief of humans forcing them to question whether or not we are the most superior animal on Earth. Are we the most dominant? Twain then points out all the flaws and bad things that we do to ourselves and to each other. Just because humans dominate the world does it mean that we are right, more intelligent or more superior? This is what Twain questions. Twain wants us to challenge our beliefs and stop being so vile. He wants us to see what's wrong with us and the way we live, such as our murderous qualities, and unnecessary suffering. He wants us to change the assumptions about what is inevitable.Jonathan Swift also uses this type of satire in...

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