Analysis Of ' The Lowest Animal ' By Mark Twain Essay

1607 Words May 4th, 2016 7 Pages
The Essence of Humanness
On June 15, 2015, a shooting took place in Charleston, South Carolina. The person responsible for this tragic event is defined as a “hateful person” who attempted to separate a community. His actions demonstrate the “looseness” Mark Twain argues that man has in his morals. In his essay, “The Lowest Animal”, Twain claims that man is the bottommost animal because he contains a conscience that makes him aware of the rightness and wrongness of his actions. Twain also states that man is “not innocent”, unlike the “higher” animals, because he is “consciously” aware of whether or not his actions are moral. Humanity is defined as “the quality or state of being human”, however, “being human does not mean that an individual possesses humanity” (Merriam Webster Dictionary) because a person’s humanity is determined by their conscience. Despite what some believe about conscience playing no role, it is proven that without a conscience humanity could not be possible. Conscience plays a vital role in determining one’s humanity, or lack thereof, by influencing his thoughts, actions, and decisions. Conscience shapes one’s humanity by affecting his thoughts. “Thoughts are mental cognitions—[one’s] ideas, opinions, and beliefs about [himself] and the world around [him]” (Merriam Webster Dictionary)—that affect one’s humanness by impacting his perception on said cognitions. In “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the characters of Hester and Dimmesdale both…

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