What Is Man Mark Twain Analysis

Man is often referred to as the ‘mystery of all mysteries’. So what does this really mean? What is a ‘man’ according to the ideas of Mark Twain? To understand this, we need to take a deeper look into what Twain wrote and how it applies to our lives today.

Mark Twain is an American authorand was considered one of the greatest humorists of the 19th and 20th centuries. He is perhaps best known for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the last of which was considered one of the great American novels. But Twain also wrote about his views on life, man, and society. He was a philosopher, and many of his thoughts can still be applied to our lives today.

Twain’s philosophy of man is wrapped up largely in his essay ‘What is Man?’ In this essay, Twain takes aim at the idea that man is an inherently noble being. He argues that instead, man is driven by base desires such as greed, envy, hatred, and other such emotions. He states that man is capable of great things, but isn’t generally able to live up to these capabilities and instead succumbs to his base desires. Twain’s view on man is ultimately pessimistic: that man is never able to achieve its full potential and will forever be bounded by these base desires.

In ‘What is Man?’, Twain uses a variety of literary techniques to make his point. He uses clever puns and hypotheticals to illustrate his ideas. For example, he writes “Man is the only animal that blushes… or needs to”. This is Twain’s way of saying that man is the only animal that is capable of shame, yet does not always live up to that capability. He also often appeals to emotion, using vivid descriptions to emphasize the point he is trying to make.

Man is also an animal of extremes according to Twain. In his writings, he often speaks of how man will go to the extreme when it comes to certain things. Man is motivated by both love and hate. He is also capable of great creativity, but also of senseless destruction. Twain’s view of man is that man struggles not to overcome his passionate nature, but to control it. He believes that once a person is able to do so, they can be “the noblest work of God”.

Twain’s view of man can be seen in many aspects of life today. We still grapple with our passionate nature, trying to find a balance between our desires and what is right. We still struggle to overcome our baser instincts, to do what is right even when our desires oppose it. Twain’s view on man is ultimately one of hope, that we can strive for a better future and to reach our full potential.


Mark Twain’s view on man also expands to include the concept of honesty. In his writings, Twain critiques the idea that man is inherently dishonesty. He suggests that it is the nature of man to try to deceive and manipulate others for gain or to benefit himself. He believes that man is often capable of real honesty but chooses instead to be dishonest for his own gain, instead of doing what is truly right. According to Twain, man has it within his power to be truly honest, it just takes a conscious effort to do so.

Twain’s view of man’s honesty also extends to the idea of being true to one’s word. He believes that man, while being capable of honesty, is not necessarily true to his own word when it comes to promises and commitments. Instead he may be tempted to lie and manipulate those around him. Twain sees the ability to hold to one’s word despite temptation as a mark of character and a true measure of human morality.

Twain’s view on man’s honesty is still relevant today. We often come face-to-face with situations where we are able to choose between what is easy, and what is right. We must face the temptation every day to manipulate and deceive those around us, and instead strive for true honesty. If we can find the courage to be honest no matter the cost, and hold to our own word even when it seems impossible, then we can see the true greatness of human character.

Human Nature

Mark Twain’s view on man also focuses largely on human nature. According to Twain, the nature of man is to turn away from the truth and sometimes lie to protect himself. He believes that man takes the easier path, avoiding responsibility and hard work in order to benefit himself in the short term. Twain believes that it is human nature to deceive and manipulate those around you, and that it is our responsibility to resist this temptation. He believes that through resisting these temptations, and working to become better people, we reach our full potential.

Twain’s view of human nature is still applicable to our lives today. We often find ourselves in situations where we must choose between the short-term benefit and the long-term consequences. We must strive to avoid the easy path and look at the bigger picture of what is really important. Through this, Twain believes we can realize our potential as human beings and rise to the highest levels.


Mark Twain also has strong views on morality and its importance in life. He believes that morality is essential to becoming a good person, and that it is our duty as human beings to strive for personal morality. He believes that morality comes through understanding right and wrong and recognizing how our actions can affect those around us. Twain believes that only by striving for morality in our individual lives can we start to make a difference in the world.

Twain’s view on morality is still relevant today. We must all strive for morality in our own lives to become better people and to create a better society. We must be conscious of the effects our actions have on others and attempt to ensure that those effects are positive. By striving for morality, we can create a better future for ourselves and for those around us.


Mark Twain’s view on freedom also plays an important role in his views on man. He believes that man should strive for freedom, and should take responsibility for their own actions. Twain believes that freedom comes not only from within ourselves, but from those around us. He sees freedom as the ultimate goal of human life, and he believes that it is our duty to strive for freedom and to fight for those unable to achieve it.

Twain’s view on freedom is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. We must continue to fight for the rights of all people, regardless of race, gender, or any other factor. We must strive to create a better world, one where freedom is the right of all and where no one is oppressed or marginalized. By striving for freedom, we are taking responsibility for our own actions and for the actions of those around us, ensuring that everyone has the chance to live a life of freedom and dignity.

Justice and Equality

Mark Twain’s views on man also encompass justice and equality. He believes that justice and equality are essential for any society and that every person deserves a fair and equal chance to succeed. Twain believes that man should strive for justice and should be willing to fight for those who are wronged or whose rights are violated. According to Twain, achieving justice and equality in a society is the ultimate goal of human life, and he encourages us all to strive for this ideal.

Twain’s view on justice and equality is still applicable to our lives today. We must continue to fight for those who are wronged and oppressed, and to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to succeed. We must continue to strive for justice and equality, and to take responsibility for our actions and those of others to ensure a brighter future for all.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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