Essay about Analysis Of Mark Twain 's `` What Is A Man?

Essay about Analysis Of Mark Twain 's `` What Is A Man?

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Throughout the existence of mankind, humans strive to divulge the functions of the human brain, its actions and reasons behind its decisions. The reasons humans behave in the manner they do. Why one person can be soft like a mother 's touch while the others coarse black ash? Complications of the mind are, what philosophers like Plato and Ernest Nagel have attempted to investigate. Mark Twain describes the way human minds are programmed in his novel “What is a man? And Other Essays”. In this excerpt, Mark explains humans are nothing more, than a mere machine, which cannot create. That’s, all living things are allowed to do is observe. In this except, it describes that human’s do everything and anything they do to satisfy their inner self-comfort and obtain self-gratification. Furthermore, humans do not feel empathy or sympathy unless their self-comfort is affected. Mark Twain’s cleverly constructs, this except by using different literary devices, the way except is formatted, and careful and unique word chose to portray the human mind.

Mark Twain presents this excerpt in the form of a dialogue between and old man and a young man. It is evident that the old man has vast experience and wisdom over the young fellow. The old man starts the dialogue by using an anecdote to describe human’s nature. About a mother who has and ill son who shelter an infidel. The infidel enlightens the boy from his mother’s pagan ways, causing the boy to hate his mother and die, causing the mother grief. This anecdote is a second anecdote of two. The first anecdote was similar in nature, it contained the same infidel, but a different mother and son. The mother welcomes the infidel in to her home, and the same thing that happens to the son in the second fab...


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...Canada, where the Jesuits would convert the natives and not feel bad about it. The Jesuits would not feel bad for the pagan mother, because she was enlightening her from savagery. This shows that a person cannot change themselves and only external influence can, the Christian mother bringing pain to the infidel caused him to rethink his actions and change, since he only changed his ways after he became self-aware of the pain he caused others. This proves, humans cannot change themselves and people’s temperance can allow them to react to situations differently.


In conclusion, the issue that Mark Twain describes in his except is, reasons behind the humans course of actions. That humans only feel and help others when it benefits their self-comfort first. If you help an old lady you do it because it makes you feel better about yourself, it gives you self-gratification.

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