Mark Twain has always been one of my favorite novelists. However, I was never familiar with him as a critic of religion. Frankly, I didn’t hesitate what topic to pick once I saw The Damned Human Race on the list. It was not because I felt confident about writing about it but because I always wanted to learn more about this reading. Mark Twain uses a combination of pathos and logos in his article. I think Mark Twain’s argument is very successful besides a few misconceptions. Mark Twain compares the behavior of different animals to human beings and states that people should be classified as lower animals rather than the formerly known higher animals (1). Specifically, he compares man to different animals such as, an anaconda, squirrel, and a cat. By using those rhetorical styles Twain is able to keep his reader’s attention throughout the whole article.
In my opinion, the introduction is well-structured because it keeps the reader’s attention from the beginning to the end. It also makes the reader want to learn more throughout the whole essay. The actual reading starts with the study of character traits of animals and man. However, I think that Mark Twain is pointing out too many negative features of human being versus focusing on their positive qualities. For the rest of the essay, Twain continues to mention a negative trait that is particular to humans, and immediately compares it to an animal that has the same trait. In his conclusion, the author affirms that animals are better than humans since from all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel (Mark Twain, 3). Mark Twain moves forward through his article using pathos and logos. The first time pathos is mentioned when the author talks about hunting. Twain say, In the coarse of my reading I had come across a case where, many years ago, some hunters on our Great Plains organized a buffalo hunt.. (2). .
Mark Twain is not afraid to stereotype the whole society by saying that all people are foolish, cruel, and greedy. A good example is when he describes men that go buffalo hunting. Those men killed seventy-two buffalo leaving seventy-one and a half of them to decay. It is important to mention that despite mark Twain’s hasty stereotypes, there were some realistic points provided. Based on such points the reader can conclude that the argument in Twain’s article is fairly successful. There is also pathos in the part when Twain talks about money. He points out that man keeps accumulating money after having excessive amounts, yet animals stop gathering food when they have enough for survival.
Mark Twain concluded that man is greedy while animals are not. Along with pathos, Twain used logos. By doing so, he was trying to keep his reader’s attention closer. Mark Twain uses his own analysis to prove his point. He uses satire to pinpoint man’s flaws, while motivating his readers to analyze their own morals. Despite his use of satire, false authority and hasty generalizations, his piece was successful.Through his vivid metaphors which he calls experiments he pulls his readers in an emotional level. He persuades his readers to examine the ill traits of humanity and see the world through his eyes. Through this metaphor he makes his readers feel sorrow for the monks, anger that people acted so viciously, and anger that the media withheld information. He was very effective in making his audience feel the emotions he felt.
In conclusion the satirical style, vivid metaphors and underlying persuasion made this an exceptional read. His use of effective pathos instilled his emotional state into his work, and prompted similar feelings in his readers. His biased standpoint persuaded his readers to analyze their own morals. His writing style engaged people on an emotional level, and was able to highlight destructive behaviors that conflict with having good morals.
Persuading individuals to demonstrate use of their moral sense, in such an indirect manner was an extraordinary form of literary brilliance. I both agree and disagree with Mark Twain’s essay. I think that he supports his believes by a number of valid points, for example, that people think only about themselves and take from nature much more then they need. However, I think that by emphasizing the details of only the negative traits of humans Mark Twain forgets about their good nature and positive sides. In my opinion, Mark Twain was able to present his article very well. the Damned Human race is well written and the author did a great job with keeping the reader’s attention throughout the whole article. He was able to do so by using pathos and logos.
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