Analyzing the Text
He makes outlandish, sweeping statements such as “for it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory” and proposes a new idea instead. This paragraph reveals that he holds animals in greater esteem than humans.
It depends! Some of his experiments could have realistically happened, such as the one with the anaconda and the calves. However, the one at the end with people of various religious beliefs is quite obviously fictional.
It shows how disgusted Twain finds the earl’s wanton cruelty.
Most animals refuse the opportunity altogether, and even those that take advantage of it do not accumulate any more than is needed to survive through the winter. These examples serve to show that, unlike humans, animals aren’t greedy.
These examples show not only how ridiculous our disputes have been, but how uncommon such fights are in the wider animal kingdom. After all, other animals don’t wage war or torture each other. Those acts are unique to humans, unfortunately.
Animals don’t have a concept of immodesty or humiliation, so they have no reason to blush. Mankind has essentially invented scenarios it deems improper and becomes embarrassed when those situations occur.
With “man is the only patriot,” he shows the bloody battles that have occurred throughout history – as well as the supposed wishes of peace and goodwill that follow. In terms of “man is the religious animal,” he describes the hypocrisy of people killing each other in order to prove that only their own beliefs will assure them a happy afterlife.
His purpose is to not only get people thinking about the ways in which animals are more intelligent and sensible than humans, but also the irrational and often cruel actions of humans that we take for granted.