Mark Twain's Belief that the Real Descent of Human Morality Essay

Mark Twain's Belief that the Real Descent of Human Morality Essay

Length: 679 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Mark Twain theorizes that man is in fact the so called “lower animal” and has descended from a single atom to insect to animal from a long line of innocence. The lowest stage would be reached and would become known as the human being. Twain counter argues the popular theory of Darwinism which could be considered controversial. However, he conducted experiments using the scientific method to provide evidence to his claim: the principle of human morality, as disputed in “The Damned Human Race”, has seemingly not evolved to the same extent of the morals of what he believes to be the “higher animals”. Moral sense as defined by Twain is the quality that enables wrong doing. Without this this “sense” man would not be capable of doing wrong.
One of Twain’s earliest experiments came shortly after reading about a group of men that organized a hunt for buffalo. Although the hunt provided food, it was ordered mainly for the pure entertainment of an English Earl. Seventy two buffalo in the Great Plains; murdered. Only a part of one was consumed. The other seventy one were left in the fields to rot. Twain compares the Earl to an anaconda. Seven calves were confined to the same cage as one anaconda. Right away, the great snake devoured its first calf. When it was finished, that was it. No interest in the remaining six calves was shown. He repeated this experiment multiple times with the same end result. Man is cruel. Seventy two buffalo were not essential to the survival of the hunters and they were aware of that; however they killed them simply because they could. Man often takes more than necessary versus what they need whether survival is dependent on it or not. Greed will always triumph.
Twain compares man to cats in a sense that bo...

... middle of paper ...

...the “higher animals”. His sentiment clouds his sense of morality causing chaos to occur. Animals have no concept of religion and they rely solely on reasoning therefore openly accepting a greater variation of ideas that are foreign to them.
Mark Twain went against the universal theory of Darwinism to introduce an opposing theory; that the human race is lowest on the hierarchy of evolution. From his conduction of experiments, observations, and knowledge of history he was able to validate his argument. He successfully presented a new understanding to the morality of mankind along the way. He calls this: The Moral Sense. The quality that enables wrong doing is only existent to man. Having the ability to distinguish between good and evil, does more harm by also creating the ability to act in an evil manner. Evil can only exist where there is a consciousness to it.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Getting Real With Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay examples

- Getting Real With Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain was published at a time when slavery was still very much a controversial issue. When this great novel came to life, during the antebellum period, not everyone agreed on the qualifications someone had to meet to be considered and treated like a human being. At this time, most people in the South considered themselves Christians, religiously went to church each Sunday, and said their prayers every night. A large percent of these church going folks also owned slaves and saw nothing wrong with the establishment....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Better Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Morality in Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Essay

- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is an excellent study of morality. The main character, Huck, encounters people like Widow Douglas, Mary Jane, Susan, Joanna, and Aunt Sally who serve as foils for Huck throughout the novel. Huck in encountering these foils is able to decipher moral decisions that are plagued by civilizing influences. One instance is where Huck is touched by Aunt Sally’s genuine concern of him and “Sid” that Huck feels reprehensible for leaving her, and vows never to hurt her again....   [tags: slave, remorse, changes]

Better Essays
853 words (2.4 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

- In today 's culture, we are still dealing with the racism. Racism is carried over in the books read in schools. In Mark Twain 's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the people throughout the novel are dealing with racism against black Americans in the rural south. The novel by Twain was dealing with racism in the late 1870’s and early 1880’s. Mark Twain had to be a little bit of a racist when he wrote this book because of how harshly he writes about black people in the book; and how well he writes about the beliefs of the racist people in the book....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, Nigger]

Better Essays
1388 words (4 pages)

Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- 1. Summary of the Novel Mark Twain’s 1884 novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is the story of a young boy, Huckleberry Finn, who lives in St. Petersburg, Missouri, along the banks of the Mississippi River, and essentially desires to become his own person and live the way he wants. In the beginning of the story, Huck is being “sivilised” (Twain 1) by a widow named Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson. Huck feels restricted by the manners, schooling, and overall “righteousness” he is being fed....   [tags: literary analysis, mark twain]

Better Essays
1873 words (5.4 pages)

Mark Twain 's Life Can Be Unpredictable Essay

- Life can be unpredictable. It can impact a man in more ways than one throughout the course of his lifetime. In the end, change is inevitable, which can be brought upon someone through a series of events. These events can incite a metamorphosis in an individual. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, more famously known as Mark Twain, is a perfect candidate. He completely transformed to a different writer with a new demeanor through the course of time. Mark Twain’s later years impacted his changed attitude about society, which is reflected in his darker tone and misanthropic themes....   [tags: Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn]

Better Essays
1926 words (5.5 pages)

A Feminist Look at The Descent of Odin Essay

- A Feminist Look at The Descent of Odin    It is obvious that there are many differences between men and women.  Throughout history women have been taught to dress, act, and speak differently than men.  These differences are so common that they can sometimes be overlooked in everyday life and in reading.  By taking a closer look at poems and stories one can begin to see how frequently gender differences occur.  Thomas Gray’s “The Decent of Odin,” read from a Feminist point of view can reveal many examples of these differences through the use of dialogue....   [tags: Descent of Odin Essays]

Free Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Interpreting The Descent of Odin Essay

- Interpreting The Descent of Odin There are several different ways to interpret a poem. Each word can either be a metaphor for something else or the words can mean exactly what they say. Either way there can really never be a completely wrong interpretation of a certain poem because everyone is going to see things in their own way. For example, an object or a phrase could have a double meaning. A conversation that seems somewhat insignificant could be very important to the meaning and the tone of the entire poem....   [tags: Descent of Odin Essays]

Free Essays
633 words (1.8 pages)

Magic in The Descent of Innana and Sappho Essay

- Magic in The Descent of Innana and Sappho In the ancient text The Descent of Innana and the lyric poetry of Sappho, language is viewed as magic. Not only are the words themselves acting as magic, as in an invocation, but other things manifest themselves as magic throughout the works. The most common throughout the works of Sappho is that of love. Sappho also shows us the magic of everyday life in many of her poems. Finally, the writing down of the works performs a magic all of its own; the magic of continuation....   [tags: Descent Innana Sappho Essays Greek]

Better Essays
1239 words (3.5 pages)

Formalistic and Dialogic Analysis of The Descent of Odin Essay

- Formalistic and Dialogic Analysis of The Descent of Odin Poems are more that words on a piece of paper, it is a grand "play" with different "characters" strewn onto the pages. "The Descent of Odin" is a poem with a story with a rich vein of conversation embedded into it. By using the formalistic and dialogic method, I plan on showing you these jewels that I found while reading this poem. The first voice that is found in the poem is the voice of the Narrator. When using the Dialogical Method, the reader notices that the voice is obviously an older person....   [tags: Descent of Odin Essays]

Free Essays
762 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Abolitionist Mark Twain

- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is considered a classic novel from the realism period of American Literature that accurately depicts social conventions from pre-civil war times. Despite this reputation as a historical lens of life on the Mississippi River, elements of blatant racism overshadow the regionalist and realist depictions. Huck Finn does not promote racism because all derogatory or racist remarks are presented as a window to life during the 1850s, in a satirical context, or to show Mark Twain's moral views on racism....   [tags: Twain, Racism, Classics, Persuasive]

Better Essays
1400 words (4 pages)