Human Nature Essay

2126 words - 9 pages

The essays "The Intelligence of God" and "The Lowest Animal," by Mark Twain, are important because they call into question what a human being's role was originally meant to be in the world. Human beings are lower than animals because of their high levels of deceit, ignorance, and violence. Most human beings see themselves as being at the top of the food chain because (as humans would argue) we have the highest intelligence and are the most civilized of all creatures. Twain, however, would argue that things are quite opposite, as human ignorance often supersedes its intelligence. With our intelligence, comes more opportunity to abuse it and act worse than most animals. Animals do not start ...view middle of the document...

Twain seems to question whether or not God knew what he was doing when he created human beings because they are such flawed creatures and they have created such mayhem in the world. Human beings will perform negative acts all while speaking positive words. "We hunt the fly remorselessly; also the flea, the rat, the snake, the disease germ and a thousand other creatures which he pronounced good, and was satisfied with, and which we loudly praise and approve--with our mouths" (Twain 232). These are all interesting points to consider and they make sense for the reader who is open-minded enough to consider them.The essay "The Lowest Animal" goes into an in- depth comparison between man and other animals. This is important because of how Twain characterizes human nature. Throughout history, human beings have always believed that they are superior to other members of the animal kingdom. Twain argues that this is because our brains work in a manner that causes man to have "just one stupendous superiority. In his intellect he is supreme" (242). Twain makes some very interesting arguments in this story, as he brings into question the strictly human quality of cruelty. Members of the animal world base everything on survival. If one animal is to kill another, it is not based on anything but survival. Twain uses the example of putting calves in a cage with an anaconda. The anaconda will only kill one calf, as well as consume it. The other calf remains unharmed until the anaconda is hungry again. Twain compares this to human nature, specifically the story of an "English earl" who organized a buffalo hunt for his own amusement. He was responsible for the killing of seventy-two buffalo, but only one was consumed for food (234). This example proves that humans have a negative quality far more impacting and gruesome than animals could ever imagine. Humans enjoy the suffering of others and (as Twain states) "the earl is cruel and the anaconda isn't; and that the earl wantonly destroys what he has no use for, but the anaconda doesn't (234). In addition, he also uses an example of torture during his argument. Throughout history, human beings have been guilty of torturing their fellow man, for whatever reason. Twain mentions a cat will play with a mouse before ultimately devouring it, but the cat has no intentions to torture or inflict pain on the mouse. The cat acts out with complete ignorance about how the mouse feels (236). On the other hand, humans are aware that torturing another person brings them great discomfort--a psychological reasoning of why they do it. "Cats are loose in their morals, but not consciously so. The cat is innocent, man is not" (235).Based strictly on the human ideology, human beings are also the only creatures that organize wars and other fights--ideas based on one group of people trying to take things away from the other group of people. Wars are strictly human endeavors and members of the animal kingdom do not organize fights. Animals do...

Other Essays On Human Nature

human nature comparing and contrasting two texts - freshman ohio state - outline

530 words - 3 pages Michelle Agbotui Dr. Dougherty Core 179F December 4th 2018 OUTLINE Human Nature The two texts chosen are “Augustine’s Confessions” and “The Gospel of Matthew”. While Augustine focuses on how as humans we are able to choose between good and bad, Matthew also explains that if we portray the good qualities God wants us to, we will choose good and avoid the bad. However, they both agree on human nature as naturally finding pleasure in sin. I

Hamlet Essay - how does hamlet hold up a mirror to human nature - Year 12 English Advanced/Extension 1 - Essay

1339 words - 6 pages themes of revenge tragedy; action, murder, revenge, but also the purpose of theatre, philosophical questions of life, family relationships and the importance of rituals (such as funerals). Therefore, Hamlet is essentially about the attempt to hold a mirror up to human nature and work towards expressing the inexpressible and scrutinizing the inscrutable aspects of human experience. Hamlet as a whole is primarily concerned with exploring our

man or monster - the nature of Frankenstein's monster - intro to lit - essay

994 words - 4 pages Mount Saint Vincent University Man or Monster The Nature of Frankenstein’s Creature Caitlin Berry ENGL 1155 Professor Graham Fraser October 22, 2018 Berry 1 A question that often pops into one’s mind while reading through Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is ‘is the creature Victor Frankenstein created human?’. Author Mary Shelley introduces Frankenstein’s creature as an object made up of mismatched human components, who later on develops and

An Eco-critical Reading of Philip Larkin - Beauchamp College - Essay

2057 words - 9 pages ‘Larkin is “less interested in nature for its own sake, than for the opportunities it provides to moralise about the human condition”. To what extent do you agree?’ Larkin’s poetry is renowned for his grave conclusions about the insignificance of humankind in relation to nature, which continues to exist, both despite humanity’s futile efforts to domesticate it, and also long after humans leave the environment upon which they try so hard to make

Literary criticism of Blake and Wordworth - British Literature - Essay

2411 words - 10 pages effects of time on human nature. Also, the use of children characters provided Wordsworth a way to use real-life language, which he notes to be preferred in poetry. Blake uses children characters to illustrate youthful naïve nature. The portrayal of children in Blake and Wordsworth’s can be seen in several of their works. Wordsworth shows this portrayal in his poem, “We are Seven.” In this poem Wordsworth portrays a conversation between two adults

What Readers can Learn In Nature Through Writing - English II - Assignment

638 words - 3 pages all of the conformity and “charts and diagrams” that the world has come to know. Instead, he encompasses himself in the beauty of the world outside. If humans took the time to step away and appreciate the wonders and awe of nature, maybe the human race would not be so quick to destroy it. Between humans and nature, there are many connections, as well as diversity. Kingsolver’s essay “Called Out” expresses how plant species “vary seed size” and

Joseph Conrad "Heart Of Darkess" This Essay Describes The "Human Tendencies Toward Evil" Found In Conrad's Work The Heart Of Darkness

1109 words - 5 pages In the classic novel, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad takes us on a journey into the soul of man. When the character of Marlow travels into the Congo of Africa to find Kurtz, he realizes that he is in a place where the rules of society no longer constrain human nature, and the frightening truths about human beings can be observed first hand.Marlow discovers that human nature can experience its' dark side. This can be seen through the

Nature

664 words - 3 pages Nature is the nurturer, the provider, and the mother of creation. All these names we associate with nature, and we also realize that she constantly works to ensure everything is part of a life cycle. that cycle of life is disrupted by human interference, negligence, destruction, and a stripping of her precious resources. We take and we take never giving back, we never show the gratitude we should for her generosity. We think if resources

The Declaration and the Constitution: Their Christian Roots

467 words - 2 pages intriguing was that about three-fourths of all annotations to the Bible came from reprinted sermons from that era. In terms of framing the government, leaders took a more Biblical view on human nature. If there was no government that would mean men did not need to be governed because they are not sinful, but we all know that is not the case. Framing a republic form of government needs a balance of power to control this sin a free human dignity

Attributes Of The American Scholar By Emerson

929 words - 4 pages individual, stands by itself." As we mature we begin organizing these small pieces, putting them into groups. Small children are a typical example of this; always trying to figure things out with their eyes wide open and lots of questions at the ready. Nature, helps us build and broaden our view of the world. As Emerson says, "geometry, a pure abstraction of the human mind, is the measure of planetary motion." We realize when all these singular pieces

Romanticism Poetry - The World is too much with us - William Wordsworth - University of Johannesburg - English 2B - Essay

1042 words - 5 pages away the power of spirituality and purity. For example, this contrasts between what the people really need. or want. Do they want the purity and power of nature or to “waste” nature to gain what they do not really need? Moreover, relinquishing human potential and power of nature. It is clear in the poem that industrialisation is a waste as it is something that is not really needed it just brings about revolt as it takes away power in return for

Similar Papers

Machiavelli's View Of Human Nature Essay

1163 words - 5 pages In The PrinceNiccolo Machiavelli presents a view of governing a state that is drastically different from that of humanists of his time. Machiavelli believes the ruling Prince should be the sole authority determining every aspect of the state and put in effect a policy which would serve his best interests. These interests were gaining, maintaining, and expanding his political power.1 His understanding of human nature was a complete contradiction

What Human Beings Do To The Nature Is Still Bad Literture Of Nature Essay

926 words - 4 pages What Human Beings Do to the Nature is Still Bad Farmers rely on rainfall to feed their crops. The fishermen depend on the sea to survive. All foods that human beings get, every breath of fresh air, and every comfortable rest environment are all come from nature. With these, people's technology is improving day by day, and the quality of life is getting higher and higher. Over time, people take for granted that the benefits of nature are well

Nature/Nurture Theory To The Movie, Joe The King Capella University Human Social Development Essay

1513 words - 7 pages criminal behavior that relies on two main principles: biological influence and social environment as the major processes which individually and interactively prompt or protect a person from criminality. In Alisha’s case, the combination of genetics and her environment prompted her criminal behavior. The nature/nurture theory is the most appropriate theory that the scholar would use in her social work practice because most aspects of human behavior

The Block By Mark O'connor Human Nature And Conflict Cghs Essay

746 words - 3 pages By Khurshid Karim 10engH What does it say about human nature and conflict? The short story, 'The Block' by Mark O'Connor, explores human nature and conflict through the experiences of Gavin when he was a child. The short story portrays jealousy, competitive attitudes, possessiveness and arrogance which allows the readers to identify the consequences of conflict and how different values and opinions can lead to misunderstandings and even death