Mark Twain's The Damned Human Race Essay

Mark Twain's The Damned Human Race Essay

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Mark Twain's The Damned Human Race


Within his essay of The Damned Human Race, author Mark Twain powerfully declares that the human race is both flawed and corrupt, and that people actually should be classified as 'lower animals' rather than the formerly known 'higher animals.' Twain does not hold claim to a Darwinian or creation standpoint, but rather draws conclusions from his own observations in performed experiments. He states that 'man is the cruel animal,' and that we can attribute this to his moral character. However, there appears to be another side which contradicts his findings. Perhaps man is indeed the 'highest animal,' but possesses something which other animals do not.

     Twain claims that his observations are based on experiments executed in the London Zoological Gardens. With these examinings, he went on to state that humans displayed a variety of shortcoming not seen in other animals. His first point was that humans were cruel, while other animals were not. This was backed by the story of the hunter killing seventy-two buffalo, and eating only part of one. He contradicted this by experimenting with anacondas and calves. The anaconda only killed what it needed, as opposed to the Earl. This seemed to suggest to Twain that the man descended from the anaconda, and not the other way around. Perhaps the Earl did not respect the buffalo, which is true. But does it mean that all humans always kill to be cruel and wasteful? Or could some animals exhibit sig...

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