Mark Twain The Damned Human Race
27 July 2014
Jeremy C. Price
Professor Carol Froisy
27 July 2014
The Damned Human Race by Mark Twain: Critical Evaluation Essay
Mark Twain is a very popular writer with many successful pieces of work. His work uses satire and is often mean spirited. He shows a harsh side of himself in "The Damned Human Race". The way he writes forces you to look at the evil nature embedded in the human race. He says "Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity (these are strictly confined to man); he invented them" (Twain). He uses satire to reveal that humans falsify and contaminate their only superior trait over the lower animals, the animal 's sense of morality.
Twain 's purpose of the essay is to scientifically prove his philosophy of how man is actually lower than animals. The way he writes is sarcastic in a sense, but has a way of making you think his reasoning is the only reasoning. He is a very persuasive writer and draws you in by first proving the credibility of his research. He states "These experiments were made in the London Zoological Gardens, and covered many months of painstaking and fatiguing work" (Twain). This makes you imagine he is going to show you the hard facts about the issue, but he only shows his bias view. His experiments show that premeditated evil is strictly related to the human race. Twain wrote, "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. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and with calm pulse to exterminate his kind" (Twain).
He believes that man is not a reasoning animal. His writing shows that man has a moral sense, has the ability to do right, but his moral sense is not important to the man. He believes that the man is foolish and can 't learn simple things that animals can learn. He states "In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which the other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately" (Twain). This shows that animals do not see race, sex, or religion. They are able to cohabitate without hate or greed.
He again goes deeper to show the darkest side of mankind. He states "Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. 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" (Twain). He also says "Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people 's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns, he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man, with his mouth" (Twain). His statements are trying to prove and persuade you to see that man has proven time and time again to be vicious and hateful. Man can not set aside differences enough to coexist.
In conclusion, Twain 's illogical representation of man was a failure in many ways. He believes that the defect in man is the moral sense, which enables man to do evil and serves no other purpose. Due to this moral sense, man is capable of killing, enslaving in the pursuit of personal gain. This is why he believes that animals are higher than man. If man could remove its moral sense he would surpass animals and rise over them. Twain says "What now, do we find the Primal Curse to have been? Plainly what it was in the beginning: the infliction upon man of the Moral Sense; the ability to distinguish good from evil; and with it, necessarily, the ability to do evil; for there can be no evil act without the presence of consciousness of it in the doer of it" (Twain). No evil act can be performed without it being a conscious act. He failed to show the complete opposite side of man and animals. If you truly analyze and compare man and animals, you can find evil and love in both creatures. You can clearly see love in people when you look close enough. People are trying to make the world a better place everyday. The world is not just murder and horror. You can 't say all men are evil, it would be like saying all Muslims are terrorists just because of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Twain, Mark. "The Damned Human Race." Moodyap.pbworks.com. n.d. Web.
11 May 2012.
Cited: Twain, Mark. "The Damned Human Race." Moodyap.pbworks.com. n.d. Web. 11 May 2012.