Mark Twain 's The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn And The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer

1226 WordsDec 6, 20155 Pages
Mark Twain, American humorist and novelist, captured a world audience with stories of boyhood adventure and with commentary on man 's shortcomings that is humorous even while it probes, often bitterly, the roots of human behavior. His writing, Shelley Fisher Fishkin who is one of the leading scholars on the work of Mark Twain in American culture and literature observes, involves "an entreaty to rethink, reevaluate and reformulate the terms in which one defines both personal and national identity." Twain hoped to coax us out of our "timid and suspicious privacy" and into recognition of human equality and of the dignity of self-governing citizenship. Evidently at odds with so much of established opinion, this high aim was only another reason…show more content…
In “The War Prayer” Twain argues against the philosophy of imperialism. This essay was written in 1900’s when America was caught up in the idea of imperialism and extending its influence to other countries using military prowess. He reveals that praying for success in war is also praying for the defeat of another nation. He questions what exactly the people are praying for. Even though it appears that the people are praying for the safety of their soldiers, in the end it can be concluded that they are praying for destruction of another civilization. But the argument does not stop here: the last line of the essay says, “It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said (Twain, 682). After bringing forth the harm caused by war, the aged stranger is dismissed as a lunatic. The characters’ sheer ignorance leads them to believe that God’s messenger, who has posed these questions, must be just an insane old man thus illuminating the public opinion in the early 90s. The sentences in “The War Prayer” are lean, accelerated, cadenced, and charged with imagery. The premise on which their authority depends—in this case, that official and religious can’t conceal seeds of their abominable corollaries —is self-evident and irrefutable. At its core, “The War-Prayer”
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