Damned Human Races by Mark Twain

Topics: Mark Twain, The Animals, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood Pages: 6 (2493 words) Published: February 10, 2013
Twain has several distinct stylistic traits. One is his excellent and frequent use of dialect. Dialect is the distinctive way that a group of people from a local area speaks. Certainly Twain has an inimitable style. His accomplished use of dialect is always salient; however there are other techniques that he uses that somehow differ from other writers. Mark Twain's writing style, Twain---the pen name for Samuel Langhorne Clemens, American writer and humorist, is characterized by broad, often irreverent humor or biting social satire. Twain’s writing is also known for realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression. Newspaper work in the West. The beginning of the American Civil War (1861-1865) abruptly closed commercial traffic on the Mississippi River. After serving for two weeks with a Confederate volunteer company, twain chose not to become involved in the war. He traveled to Carson City, Nevada, in 1861 with his brother Orion. Later, in ROUGHING IT (1872), twain humorously described his unsuccessful attempts at prospecting for gold and silver during this time and his eventual conclusion that he must support himself by newspaper journalism. He joined the staff of the Virginia City, Nevada, and TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE in the summer of 1862. He first began publishing under his pen name on Feb. 3, 1863, while working for the ENTERPRISE. "Mark Twain" comes from a riverboat term meaning "two fathoms" (a depth of 12 feet, or 3.7 meters). Twain's writing is full of satire and it usually has local color. He was highly influenced by his work on a riverboat (his pen name is the most obvious example, but the Sawyer/Finn adventures are just as clear), by his travels and by the newly-developed detective story invented by Edgar Allen Poe. In the story the damned human race man is usually called the highest animal on the basis of intelligence what? There are several traits:

* The higher animals engage in individual fights, but never in organized masses. Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. * Man is the only animal that robs his helpless fellow of his country takes possession of it and drives him out of it or destroys him. Man has done this in all the ages. There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed. * Man is the only Slave. And he is the only animal who en-slaves. He has always been a slave in one form or another, and has always held other slaves in bondage under him in one way or another * Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations. * Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Ani-mal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion, several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. Hah, we are beasts!

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the lower animals (so-called), and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals; since it now seems plain to me that the theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the Descent of Man from the Higher Animals. In proceeding toward this unpleasant conclusion I have not guessed or speculated or conjectured, but have used what is com-monly called the scientific method. That is to say, I have sub-jected every postulate that presented itself to the crucial test of actual experiment, and have adopted it or rejected it according to the result. Thus I verified and established each step of my course in its turn before advancing to the next. These experiments were made in the London Zoological...
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