Satire In The Lowest Animal, By Mark Twain

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Reciting the pledge of allegiance has become an everyday norm for most who live in the United States. The pledge of allegiance states, “with liberty and justice for all”. By this, a promise is made that all citizens of the United States have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else in the nation. American Realists viewed the promise of American justice as unethical. Writers like Mark Twain used satire to abolish the idea of justice present in man. Mark Twain’s satire is present in, “The Lowest Animal,” when he states that man’s moral sense is his ultimate weakness. His literature challenged American views by his experimental discussion of how men have not evolved but have done the vice versa of that. Twain contributed to the idea …show more content…

Twain begins the short story by recalling the man Jim Smiley and his selfishness through the exploitation of animals. Twain utilizes satire and irony as rhetorical appeals to communicate the true flaws that exist in society, like greed. An example of satire is when Twain states, “Maybe you understand frogs, and maybe you don’t understand ‘em; maybe you’ve had a bad experience, and maybe you an’t only a amature, as it were. Anyways, I’ve got my opinion, and I’ll risk forty dollars that he can out jump any frog in Calaveras County.” (464) This quote establishes Twain’s use of satire because he is hyperbolizing the relationship between Jim Smiley and his frog. An example of irony is shown when he states, “ I do wonder what in the nation that frog throw’d off for- I wonder if there an’t something the matter with him… he set the frog down and took out after that feller, but he never returned him.” (465) This quote reveals irony because the frog Smiley once cared for is now worthless to him after his loss. In the first quote, Twain is satirizing the idea of betting on animals by exaggerating the dependence Smiley has on the frog. An animal has become Smiley’s main priority because this animal can increase his wealth. In the second quote, Twain exaggerates the relationship that has ended …show more content…

The purpose of both of his works is to depict the corruption and greed that is in everyone. In, “The Lowest Animal,” Twain goes on to explain how man has regressed instead of evolving. He utilizes the rhetorical triangle in hopes that the reader can view how man is naturally evil and corrupt. His use of logos is seen when he states, “They killed seventy-two of those great animals; and ate part of one of them and left the seventy one to rot.” He uses this as a prime example of the greed and selfishness that is in everyone. His entire essay is written in order to influence change in society and become better. In, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” Twain personifies greed through the character Jim Smiley. Jim is a greedy man who exploits animals in order to make more money. Twain states, “If there was a horse race, you’d find him flush… if there was a dog fight, he’d bet on it…” Jim manipulates the animals in order to increase his personal wealth. Both of his works exemplify the true and evil nature of man. He describes how man is inarguably bad when bestowed with power. He manifests the idea of greed and corruption and uses satire to demand a change in social values. His works shape the idea of the “American” by abolishing man’s values at the core. Twain goes into great

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