Summarizing Twain’s “What is Man”

     Twain rationalizes the argument of whether man is a machine where as through conditioning the human is taught through generations to think thoughts that seem rational but really are not  such can be seen with the example of the stone and metal engine. The young man sees the stone machine as primitive and looks down on said machine and he praises the metal machine. Man is deemed the same as the ore that is extracted, it is inferred that the minds of humans are not born to have such mechanical universal thought but through external influences they are taught to develop thoughts that function on there own through the subconcious. Though humans are essentially machines their functions are not static but can change upon meeting new outside influences of conditioning from being in a different place. This can be taught of as a sponge being around different liquids, though the sponge was used to pick up water if need be it can be used to soak up something as different as oil. Twains example of bravery perfectly exemplifies how the human mind is conditioned by outliers of which we have no influences. The individual is always influenced by personal reasons that are preconditioned by where they come from or what they were around. As stated before with twains example of bravery and outliers affecting how different individuals gained certain characteristics by being from different places. Twains example of the man feeling sorry for the old lady further highlights man being a machine and being influenced by feelings that are automated. The outliers mentioned can be ones pairs, tradition or the customs of ones niche. These and many other things according to Twain decide the behavior or actions of an individual. The individual’s actions are thus determined by an automated sense of comfort, this comfort decides the course of action the individual takes, whether or not it contradicts their principle. Though the individual is a machine we are all essential machines of different makes and models in that though we are conditioned our principles and decisions vary from individuals outside our places of influence. Humans are not born as machines, the newborn is innocent but are in a sense programmed into what twain calls an individuals “make”. The make of an individual may at first glance be deemed a good act but in reality conditioning is the cause of  realizing that everyone does things for self, to maintain comfort the individual essentially perform acts that are out of character. Twain uses multiple examples of the young man being confused to show the naive machinery that is man as the young man is like society only seeing and assuming pre conditioned notions of human goodness. The old man reveals all and though a machine himself, he separates himself from the masses by thinking outside the conditioning of men. Conditioning as mentioned above being a means through which the individual is in a sense brain washed through repeated broadcasting of what is to be a norm. 


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