Human Nature

Essay by happy_bubblesUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2006

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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 wars or purposely torture each other in any way, as their lives are based merely on survival. Animals also do not accumulate more than they need, because greed is not a part of their psyche.

Human beings on the other hand, will go to great effort to gain things at the expense of another. This is purely a human trait and is something that animals would not understand. Twain gave his thoughts on humanity throughout his career and it has been said that "his early acts of egalitarianism and solidarity with the victims of race hate were unusual enough. In his maturing writing life, however, Mark Twain began to lay bare truths about racial oppression with a particular vigor, using a new and democratic literary language that would forever change American prose" (Titta).

The essay "The Intelligence of God" is a very short work about what God's thought process must have been when he was creating human beings. Twain argues that God must have been somewhat tired, because he created these creatures not in a mirror image of himself, but...