What is Man?

What is Man?is one of Mark Twain's most remarkable works: a long dialogue, written in 1906, about the nature of mankind. An old man and a young man argue, the older insisting that man is nothing more than a machine, Created by God, man acts only out of self-interest, he concludes, with certain in-born traits, and then is remade by "training," by all the forces about him. The mind, argues Twain's protagonist, is not controlled by man, but controls the man, "unceasingly at work during every waking moment". Cynical in part, proclaiming the highest of values at other moments, Twain's philosophical discussion is as fresh today as it was at the beginning of the century, and reveals yet another important aspect of this great American humorist-philosopher.