A Rhetorical Analysis Of Satire Essay By Mark Twain

798 Words4 Pages

“Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity (these are strictly confined to man); he invented them” (Twain). In this satirical essay Mark Twain discusses his ideas about mankind’s useless morel sense. He observes that humans are the only species to possess a moral sense, yet they use it to perform evil. He states after comparing animals to humans he is humiliated to conclude that man is the least evolved of all species. Despite his use of satire, false authority and hasty generalizations, his piece was successful. He uses satire to pinpoint man’s flaws, while motivating his readers to analyze their own morals.

To begin with he tries to gain credibility by using false authority and presenting himself as a scientist. He quickly loses that …show more content…

These truths demonstrated that some of the logic behind his arguments was successful. An example is when he compared the gathering habits of man in comparison to animals. He noted that man keeps accumulating money after having excessive amounts, yet animals stop gathering food when they have enough for survival. He concluded that man is greedy while animals are not. This is a stereotypical, metaphorical analogy, yet the logic of the argument: that man is greedy in comparison to animals, is hard to …show more content…

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. One example of this is when he describes an article about how three monks were burnt to death, and another “put to death with atrocious cruelty “(Twain). He then asks the question, “Do we inquire into the details?”(Twain) He answers: no, otherwise we would find out the fourth monk was “subjected to unprintable mutilations” (Twain). 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.

Mark Twain wrote this essay in a pessimistic and biased manner, which forced his readers’ to reflect upon a deeper meaning. His writing style was biased by not including any favorable qualities that people possess. He spoke of man's moral sense being worse than the disease of rabies, yet didn't offer any solutions. He disproved his own thesis by basing his stated theory on satire, which leads one to believe his stated thesis was not his motivation in writing this

Open Document