Mark Twain's Argument Essay

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What does a cat, rooster, and anaconda have in common? Twain argues that man is a descendant of all these animals, as he agrees with Darwin that every animal has emerged from the same starting point. Nonetheless, Twain suggests that Darwin wasn’t absolutely valid in his claims of the human species being more evolved than other animal species. Although men tend to believe that they have unfolded from what Twain satirically calls the “lower species” of animals, Twain argues otherwise. Men harbor frugality, cruelty, and a skill for destruction; traits that Twain claims are present in no other animal. Therefore, it is viable to conclude that the human race is actually a degradation of other animals, which is precisely what Twain argues in his satirical …show more content…
In order to obtain validity, Twain’s speaker begins by suggesting that he performed a scientific experiment in which he “subjected every postulate to the crucial test of the actual experiment, and adopted it or rejected it according to the result.” By establishing this credibility early in the essay, Twain is able to play with the audiences’ expectations later when he displays his experiments to be a comparison on human and animal traits. The result is an entertaining essay, which slowly decomposes Twain’s validity as a scientist, but highlights the satire behind his work. For the remains of the essay, Twain goes on to mention unfavorable traits that are specific to man, and promptly correlates them to an animal that shares the trait but uses it exclusively for survival. In this way, the composition of Twain’s essay reveals the disposition of man for acquiring certain characteristics. First, man is correlated to an anaconda, acknowledging that, unlike man, then anaconda kills only what it must in order to sustain. Then man is compared to a squirrel collecting materials for the winter, revealing that while man longs to acquire that which he does not need, the squirrel can in no way be motivated to do so. Man is compared to a cat, a rooster, and so forth, each time revealing the absurdity within man’s attributes. Twain’s observations seem to

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