Mark Twain: The Pessimist Essay

1210 words - 5 pages

Mark Twain: The Pessimist
“One is obliged to concede that in true loftiness of character, Man cannot claim to approach even the meanest of the Higher Animals.” Mark Twain makes it clear to his audience that he has pessimistic views towards the human race. After seeing several works influenced or directly written by this talented author, one can gather that Twain’s negative take on humanity is warranted. “The Damned Human Race” teaches the reader that man is war-like and greedy, the film and novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn prove that society’s idea of what is right is not always moral, and current events and real life experiences solidify the ideas that man is evil. Mark Twain allows ...view middle of the document...

As proven, this essay confirms that Twain’s negative attitude and outlook on humans is validated by man’s war-like nature.
“The Damned Human Race” proves that man is the only species that robs the helpless and enslaves, similar to war in and of itself. According to the essay, “The higher animals are the only ones who exclusively do their own work and provide their own living.” Man consciously chooses to take possession of what other men have for himself, whether that is freedom or land. This power-hungry and greedy attitude that man portrays only further validates Twain’s idea that all men are worth less than animals. When are told to together, animals can live together in peace. On the other hand, when men are forced to share space, chaos results and it is every man for himself. Man inherently wants everything for himself and will do anything to get what he feels he is entitled to.
Throughout the film and novel of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain highlights the bad nature of man and allows Huck to learn important life lessons. When Huck decides to keep Jim’s anonymity from the police, Jim says to him, “Just because you are taught something is right and everybody believes it’s right, does not make it right.” While this quotation shows the kind heart that Jim possesses, it also highlights the evils existing within mankind. Many times, people accept an idea or practice simply because it is accepted by the majority. This explains that man is always trying to be a carbon copy of his neighbor. There is no individuality and this leads to destruction of morals because people will believe anything they hear. There are always exceptions to this but it is not until people have already made bad decisions that they realize what was truly correct. Jim, for example, was being hunted because he was a runaway slave, in need for freedom in the North. The Southerners treated slaves as animals and physically and emotionally harmed thousands of innocent people due to the color of their skin. People agreed to this idea because it was what was popular at the time and it was immoral to be an abolitionist.
The novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn shows as well that even the most humble and caring characters can have aspects of their personality that are faulty. Jim, for example, sees Pap dead in the woods and intentionally does not tell Huck, “It’s a dead man....

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