What is man? It’s a question with myriad of different answers; however, Mark Twain comes up with a unique answer that is different from others. He tells people man is nothing but a machine that can’t create, can’t control, can’t generate; he believes that man “originates nothing, not even a thought” (Twain); he declares man has no command over himself. His anthropology is reflected in his novel Huckleberry Finn: Mark Twain proves unoriginality of humankind by using his characters to show how people rebut their own idea to adept other’s point of view.
Mark Twain uses Tom Sawyer to illustrate how man is more tend to be influenced by others than originate something his own. In order to make the rescue mission more adventurous, Tom Sawyer adds more unnecessary fancy to increase difficulty of a simple task. When Huck doubts his unnecessary attempts like digging holes, Tom explains: “… hain’t you ever read any books at all? – Baron Trenck, nor Casanova… the way all the best authorities does is to saw the bed-leg in two” (Twain). Even though the solution is challenging, and pointless, Tom Sawyer still exists doing extra fancy work that he read in the book instead of going with the obvious and simple solution while he can originally come up with more intelligent and efficient solution. Tom Sawyer is helplessly controlled by exterior influences; in his case, the outside influence is the heroes in the books. He views them as his authorities and imitates everything they have done to have the sublime experience just as they had.
Because of he is so obsessed with those heroes who influence him, he loses the ability to create his own solution. Instead, he is accustomed to copy the plot from the fictional book or from other’s life. He ignores his own voice to listen to someone else’s voice, therefore, he loses his originality to his fancy. Twain also shows unoriginality of humankind by showing how human beings mute themselves in front of larger community. After the townspeople watch the ridiculous, ludicrous, nonsensical scam show of scam by the Royal Nonesuch; however, they choose to “go out of here quiet, and talk this show up, and sell the rest of the town!
Then we’ll all be in the same boat” (Twain) just because they are afraid of being mocked by the society. Being afraid of becoming the “laughing-stock of this whole town,” (Twain) they all choose to hide their spontaneous rage, and instead, even talk up about the show to have everyone come to see the show so make sure no one makes fun of them. The townspeople are so swayed by the judgments and opinions of the society that they can’t even speak up for themselves and makes their own decisions out of their wills. The townspeople don’t make their own decisions, but rather are influenced by the society. They lost their voice and have the society speak in behalf of them, therefore, they lose their originality to the community.
The characters in the book Huckleberry Finn show how men aren’t original, but influenced by others, just as Mark Twain describes: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society” (Twain). Man puts on the clothes that symbolize outside influence, the clothes that are made by someone else, the clothes that give them identities and traits. By wearing those clothes, he lets those influences to represent himself. But when people take off those closes, they are all naked machines with incapability of originating new things. After all, those clothes are what make the man.