Mark Twain's The Damned Human Race

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Throughout history there have been many argumentative writings that can evoke various feelings. At times these writings fall short of proving their point through a lack of evidence or ability to prove their case to the reader. However, other times these argumentative writings provide a case that is so strong that the reader would be hard pressed to find fault in the authors logic. Mark Twain’s The Damned Human Race is one such piece of literature. What winning strategy did Mr. Twain use to write such a compelling piece of literature? In order to answer that question it is necessary to look at the various components of this writing individually. Through the use of tone, structure, and persuasive appeals Mr. Twain has created a powerful argumentative …show more content…

Twain establishes a very serious tone regarding the subject to be discussed. The first sentence of the second paragraph starts off by stating, “In proceeding toward this unpleasant conclusion I have not guessed or speculated or conjectured” (Twain 2012). Mr. Twain’s referral to his conclusion being unpleasant gives the reader a fairly clear indication as to the gravity of the writing, as well as Mr. Twains view towards it. In addition to the seriousness of the writing, there is also a significant amount of satire that is used. In fact, it could be said that this is indeed a satirical writing, as it is quite unlikely that the author actually placed several humans in a cage, whom all killed each other on the grounds of difference of opinions. It appears that the majority of this satire is used to underscore the pure disbelief Mr. Twain has towards the actions of the human race in comparison to their animal …show more content…

Twain to drive home his point is persuasive appeals. Throughout his writing Mr. Twain continuously appeals to the readers sense of reason, or logos. One example of this appeal can be seen when he discusses the curious greed of man when compared to that of squirrels. As Mr. Twain explains it, while men are never satisfied with their riches, always wanting more, all other animals are content to take what they need to survive and nothing more (Twain 2012). Utilizing this example, he appeals to the reader’s reason by pointing out the pure madness of the situation. In addition to logos, Mr. Twain also appeals to the reader’s sense of ethics, or ethos to further drive his point home. He clearly displays his disdain for mans lack of ethics in the statement, “Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity (these are strictly confined to man); he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them” (Twain 2012). Through the utilization of persuasive appeal, Mr. Twain further strengthens his case towards the peculiar nature of man that he has come to

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