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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Damned Human Race - 703 words
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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 signs of Twain's "cruelty?" Many individuals in the world today are very caring for each other, as well as other animals. They show the utmost kindness for one another and the planet they live on. On the other hand, there are many species of animals that kill just because they can. Part of the reasoning behind this is that numerous animals have tendencies of aggressiveness. There is no reasoning behind it, but is clearly found in their innate and learned behaviors.
And what of war? The author continually makes reference to man's innate cruelty throughout the essay, and adds that war is just another example of this behavior. It is with war that man brutally slaughters one another for some minute matter of insignificance. Twain makes known that the animals in his experiment never fought with organization against another. This is ludicrous. First of all, there are many real-world examples of animals attacking other animals for a wide variety of motives.
It could be that an animal has trespassed into another group's territory, or has taken something that belonged to another party. But how, then, is this different from humans? Secondly, people show a love for peace much more than war. War is ugly, and anyone would side-step it as opposed to standing in its way. Individuals of this earth are a people wanting to get along, and live a life of harmony with one another. Twain ends his paper stating that the cause for man's cruelty is that of the "moral sense." Man is the only animal that owns it, yet it is the primary cause for his degradation.
"Without it," Twain writes, "man could do no wrong. He would rise at once to the level of the higher animals." He states that the moral sense is without value, and is as useless to man as a disease. It harms all who has the moral sense, and none can be better off with it. And because of this, man has descended down the animal ladder, with no animal below them. Humans, because of this degeneration caused by the moral sense, have become the very bottom stage of development. However, it is that same moral sense that sets us apart from the animals, and can be used for good. Twain brings about examples of only hate, cruelty, and murder in his writings.
But can animals also show signs of love, compassion, and servant-hood? Of course not! It is ironic that the very thing which Twain explains puts people below the other animals, yet also ascends the human race to the highest point on that very ladder. The moral sense can be both a blessing and a curse, yet in the end, it is up to man to decide how to utilize it.
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