The Dark Side of Mark Twain Analytical Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

The Dark Side of Mark Twain
This paper looks at the dark side of Mark Twain, concentrating on his work "The Mysterious Stranger".
# 119753 | 1,500 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on May 24, 2010 in Literature (American) , Sociology (General) , Philosophy (General)

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In this article, the writer notes that although he is best known as a humorist, journalist, and writer of children's literature, Mark Twain had a dark side, and his dark view of humanity appears as a theme in many of his writings. The writer discusses that in 'The Mysterious Stranger', Mark Twain points out mankind's flaws, character defects, and arrogance using Satan to reveal the hypocrisies and stupidities of the people of the tiny Austrian village of Eseldorf. The writer maintains that Mark Twain believed and demonstrated in 'The Mysterious Stranger' that human institutions, such as religion and government, justified and contributed to mankind's opportunities to inflict pain, make war, and torture or enslave each other, and provided justification for abuse of his "moral sense" and authority.

From the Paper:

"Throughout the tale, in many examples, Satan describes and illustrates how humans are lower than other earthly creatures because of their dispositions and their perverted moral sense. The fact that humans know the difference between good and evil, yet allow evil to exist and practice it enthusiastically, made the race far more contemptible than any dumb animal.
"Satan/Twain saw this and was deeply troubled by the paradox of human nature, human society and human institutions that not only allowed but perpetuated evil in the world.
"Satan demonstrated this to the boys over and over again. First, he took the boys to the jail to visit Marget's father and commented mildly about a heretic who was being tortured ... "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kaplan, Justin. Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1966.
  • Loewen, James W. Domesticating Mark Twain. New York: New Press. 1999.
  • Neider, Charles, (Ed.). The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain. New York: Doubleday & Company. 1957.
  • Twain, Mark. The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories. New York: New American Library. 1916.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

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"The Dark Side of Mark Twain" 24 May 2010. Web. 25 June. 2019. <>