The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain On Satan

As you will know if you are a fan of Mark Twain’s writings, he was very much opposed to the Christian Church and all its works.   And as his life went on, this loathing simply became worse and worse (a view I share with him by the way). His views on the Church and […]

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As you will know if you are a fan of Mark Twain’s writings, he was very much opposed to the Christian Church and all its works.   And as his life went on, this loathing simply became worse and worse (a view I share with him by the way).

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His views on the Church and humanity are best summed up in a short book he wrote at the end of his life, and which was not published in the USA until about 1960, as his daughter felt strongly that this book did not really reflect her father’s views, and that it was simply too sacrilegious.

This short book, which I first read in about 1966 is called Letters From Earth, and is supposed to be a series of letters written by Satan to his two good friends, the Archangels Gabriel and Michael.  The idea is that he (Satan) has nipped down to earth to see how we are all getting on, and he is appalled by what he finds.

I shan’t go into the storyline here, as you can read the whole thing for yourself on-line if you follow this link (Letters From Earth).   This short book gives a very good idea of how Twain regarded organised religion and humanity as well.

He wrote a number of other stories which were basically attacks on the Christian Church, and several of these have been turned into very pleasing claymation films, which I will post below for your viewing pleasure.

I feel that these short films speak perfectly well for themselves (the storylines were written by Mark Twain after all), so I shan’t tediously analyse what it is that they are trying to say, as it is totally obvious and clear enough I feel.

So, without more ado, here are the two films that show very well both his feelings about religion, and also his very misanthropic feelings as well.

So, to start with, here is his take on religion’s ideas about the ultimate reward – Heaven.

And now his views on humanity…………………….

This film is based upon a story that Twain wrote and rewrote a number of times during his life, and which basically dwells upon his pessimistic views about humanity.   This story has been published a number of times under a variety of titles, depending on which of his various versions of the story it is.  This one, which is regarded as the one that best reflects his feelings, is called The Mysterious Stranger.

All perfectly clear I feel, very little room for misunderstanding his feelings about humanity I think.   Not only was Twain a master story teller, but he was actually a very reflective and pessimistic man as well, which given the way that we humans behave as a group (as opposed to how individuals often behave) is not really surprising.   One only has to look at the hatred that has been created in the UK by their idiotic and insane thing about the European Market, and what has happened in the USA since Trump lurched onto the stage there, to be convinced of the basic inhumanity of humanity.

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