Why does Twain use an aggressive tone in “The Lowest Animal”?


Introduction: The Aggressive Tone in “The Lowest Animal”

Mark Twain is known for his satirical writing style, which is evident in his essay “The Lowest Animal.” The essay discusses the concept of human superiority over animals and argues that humans are actually the lowest animals. Throughout the essay, Twain uses an aggressive tone to emphasize the cruelty and ignorance of humanity.

Twain’s Satirical Writing Style

Twain’s satirical writing style seeks to expose and criticize human vices and follies through humor, irony, and exaggeration. In “The Lowest Animal,” Twain takes a critical stance towards humanity and uses humor to highlight the absurdity of human behavior. The aggressive tone used in the essay is a tool to provoke the reader’s emotions and to challenge their beliefs.

The Concept of Human Superiority

One of the main themes of “The Lowest Animal” is the concept of human superiority. Twain argues that humans are not superior to animals but are, in fact, the lowest animals. This idea is based on the belief that humans have the ability to be cruel, violent, and greedy, while animals do not have these negative qualities. By challenging the notion of human superiority, Twain raises important questions about the ethics of human behavior.

The Animal Hierarchy in Twain’s Essay

In “The Lowest Animal,” Twain presents an animal hierarchy that places humans at the bottom. He argues that animals, such as ants and bees, are more organized, efficient, and cooperative than humans. Twain suggests that humans have a lot to learn from animals and that they should strive to be more like them.

Examples of Human Cruelty towards Animals

Throughout “The Lowest Animal,” Twain provides examples of human cruelty towards animals, such as sport hunting, animal testing, and bullfighting. Twain uses these examples to illustrate the inhumanity of human behavior and to criticize the belief that humans are superior to animals.

The Role of Religion in Twain’s Essay

Religion is another important theme in “The Lowest Animal.” Twain argues that religion has been used to justify human cruelty towards animals and that it has hindered the progress of science and reason. He suggests that humans should rely on reason and compassion rather than religion to guide their behavior.

Twain’s Critique of Social Darwinism

Twain also critiques the idea of social Darwinism, which suggests that only the strongest and fittest individuals survive and thrive. He argues that this belief is flawed because it ignores the importance of cooperation and compassion in society. Twain suggests that humans should strive to be more cooperative and compassionate, like animals.

The Use of Irony in “The Lowest Animal”

Irony is a common feature of Twain’s writing style, and it is used extensively in “The Lowest Animal.” Twain uses irony to highlight the contradictions and absurdities of human behavior. For example, he points out that humans, who consider themselves to be the most intelligent and civilized animals, are also the most violent and destructive.

The Purpose of the Essay’s Aggressive Tone

The aggressive tone used in “The Lowest Animal” serves several purposes. First, it emphasizes the seriousness of the issues raised in the essay. Second, it provokes an emotional response from the reader and encourages them to think critically about their beliefs. Finally, it reflects Twain’s frustration and anger towards human behavior and the injustices caused by it.

Conclusion: Twain’s Message to Humanity

In “The Lowest Animal,” Twain challenges the idea of human superiority and exposes the cruelty and ignorance of humanity. He argues that humans have a lot to learn from animals and that they should strive to be more cooperative and compassionate. Twain’s message to humanity is clear: we need to change our behavior if we want to create a better world for ourselves and for other animals.

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