Monday, October 25, 2010

Darwin's influence on those who influence

Mark Twain, who was 30 years younger than Darwin yet also a child of the Victorian era, once quoted this:

"I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me."
-Mark Twain

Might it be possible that the revolution following Darwin's publication influenced writers such as Twain in the Western world? Or should we be more inclined to believe that Darwin published his humbling conclusions at a time when the world was already beginning to see it for themselves?

Based on a separate quote by Twain, it seems unlikely that his opinions on humanity could be the result of direct exposure to Darwin, and more of the consequence of a greater movement throughout these cultures. Mark Twain would seemingly be quite anti-Darwinian:

(note- while this next quote has a touch of humor, the above passage should be considered with sincerity)

"An englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven't been done before"
-Mark Twain

No comments:

Post a Comment