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Mark Twain And His Influence Of Religion, Includes Works Cited

2340 words - 9 pages

Throughout his writings and his life, Mark Twain earned a reputation as a cynical critic of Christianity, as illustrated by observation that "if Christ were here, there is one thing he would not be, a Christian." (Twain, Mark Twain s Notebook 328). In Twain's collection of letters and essays contained in Letters from the Earth, his writings include several letters which interpret different religions and the Bible. Excerpts from Adam's, Eve's and Shem's Diary describe the evolution of humans and the earth. Twain speaks of the curiosity of human beings which led to "hundreds and hundreds of religions" (Twain 14). The overall approach is sensitive to the many twists and turns in Twain's views of religion.The evolution of the earth and descriptive images spoken through the eyes of Adam and Eve, as written within their diaries, is meant to present an immense descriptive mental picture in the minds of the reader, allows Twain to explore the beginnings of the universe, the beginnings of life. The reader, through these images can actually view the enormous beauty God intended at the earth to be. Through Eve's descriptions and Adam's scientific discoveries of every new discovery, the world began to evolve. Twain needed to express through his writings, the wonders of the universe and the wonders of God.Twain continues his quest to explain to the reader the evolution from the time of Adam and Eve, through the present time and what is expected of humans, humans that follow religious beliefs such as Christianity. Twain explains the needs for repentance from the good deeds and sins we commit in our daily lives. As Twain stated: "Often when we repent of a sin, we do it perfunctorily, from principal, coldly and from the head; but when we repent of a good deed the repentance comes from hot and bitter and straight from the heart." (Twain 173). The sad truth of today, humans believe that once they repent their sins, they are all forgotten and the humans can go and repeat them over and over, repenting every time and still be forgiven by God. Some believe for the most part, once a sin is committed, then repented, they need not to commit the same sin again, learn from their mistakes. Humans believe that god needs to hear words, and that the words will blind him from the truth as stated:For ages we have taught ourselves to believe that when we hide a disapproving fact, burying it under a mountain of complimentary lies, He is not aware of it, does not notice it, perceives only the compliments, and is deceived. But it is really so? Among ourselves we conclude that acts speak louder than words, but have persuaded ourselves that in His case it is different; we imagine that all He cares for is words-noise; that if we make the words pretty enough they will blind Him to the acts that give them the lie (Twain 231).Beginning with the publication of The Innocent's Abroad in 1869, Twain's irreligious sentiments and apparent anger toward religion in general and Christianity in...

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