Essay on Twain Lowest Animal W Annotating

2771 Words Jun 9th, 2016 12 Pages
Predict. What might be an example of a “low” animal?
Predict. What might be an example of a “low” animal?
The Lowest Animal (1896) Mark Twain What’s Twain’s thesis? (the main argument he is proposing)
What’s Twain’s thesis? (the main argument he is proposing)
1 I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the lower animals (so-called), and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals, since it now seems plain to me that that theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the Descent of Man from the Higher
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They had charming sport. They killed seventy-two of those great animals and ate part of one of them and left the seventy-one to rot. In order to determine the difference between an anaconda and an earl--if any--I caused seven young calves to be turned into the anaconda’s cage. The grateful reptile immediately crushed one of them and swallowed it, then lay back satisfied. It showed no further interest in the calves, and no disposition to harm them. I tried this experiment with other anacondas, always with the same result. The fact stood proven that the difference between an earl and an anaconda is that 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. This seemed to suggest that the anaconda was not descended from the earl. It also seemed to suggest that the earl was descended from the anaconda, and had lost a good deal in the transition. Based on the results of his experiment, paraphrase Twain’s conclusion.
Based on the results of his experiment, paraphrase Twain’s conclusion.

In paragraph 4, what specific details make us suspect this may be satire? What seems funny or not-so-scientific about Twain’s description of the “subjects” of his experiment?
In paragraph 4, what specific details make us suspect this may be

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