Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.
What is man? -- The death of Jean -- The turning-point of my life -- How to make history dates stick -- The memorable assassination -- A scrap of curious history -- Switzerland, the cradle of liberty -- At the Shrine of St. Wagner -- William Dean Howells -- English as she is taught -- A simplified alphabet -- As concerns interpreting the Deity -- Concerning tobacco -- The bee -- Taming the bicycle -- Is Shakespeare dead?
In “What is Man?”, Mark Twain raises numerous thought-provoking questions about mankind and the way the mind works. With his usual wit, Twain has created a beautiful dialogue that in many ways can be compared to that in Plato's The Republic. In this book, Twain’s knack for explaining reality without any of its grand notions is on full display. Though short enough to be read in one sitting, it perceptively reveals why people act as they do. Readers will feel that they are engaged in a modern modern lecture between a seasoned philosophy professor and his most accomplished student. Through the dialogue, you get a sense that this piece of writing is the epitome of Samuel Clemen's look on life, although debatable. Regardless of how you feel at the end of the essay, if read carefully, you will at least question your own daily motives and perhaps everyone else's that has come before you.