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A Critical Evaluation of the Damned Human Race

Autor:   •  February 23, 2018  •  757 Words (4 Pages)  •  187 Views

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The third and final appeal that Twain attempts to use in his essay is ethos, and is the one appeal that he seems to lose rather quickly. Although his intent is to portray himself as an experienced scientist, the use of phrases such as “I have not guessed or speculated or conjectured, but have used what is commonly called the scientific method” aid in the false authority presented throughout this essay and ultimately test his credibility (Twain 1). After studying the essay, one specific example comes to mind. Many readers would not question as to whether he “taught a cat and dog to be friends”, but it is assumed that all would question the credibility of the example of mixing humans of different ethnicities and religions in a cage only to return to “gory odds and ends” and “not a specimen left alive” (Twain 4). Although the audience has already come to the realization of Twain’s many metaphors and lack of credible sources this essay presents (or does not present) up to this point, stereotypes and generalizations used in this example are not an effective way of building ethos amongst the readers.

In the end, the reader clearly discovers how Twain’s use of satire and sweeping statements influence them to question their own morals. Though his credibility can be contested, the brilliant use of pathos and logos throughout the essay brought his opinion to light, all while addressing apparent problems in society without offending the greatest of audience; the reader. So now we must ask ourselves, is there hope for humans in regaining status as the “Higher Animal” or have we already descended to the lowest point; “Below us, nothing” (Twain 4)?

Works Cited

Twain, Mark. “The Damned Human Race.” Moodyap.pbworks.com. n.d. Web. 11 May 2012.

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