Mark Twain Essay

Everyone has ideas and customs that they believe are their own. But Mark Twain has once stated, “We are creatures of outside influences – we originate nothing from within. Whenever we take a new line of thought and drift into a new line of belief and action, the impulse is always suggested from the outside. ” Although people may think that they created their own thought and ideas, they have not.

Something in the outside world caused them to think about those thoughts, or to come up with those ideas.If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I? , by Geeta Kothari, Scattered Inconveniences, by Jerald Walker, and The Right Decision, by Ron Sargent, are all stories in which characters use the ideas from their outer world to achieve or do certain things in their own lives. Geeta Kothari grows up with a family who follows an Indian culture. Throughout her childhood she struggles to fit in because of the food that she eats. “I declare myself a vegetarian and doom myself to a diet of cauliflower cheese and baked beans on toast.The administration does not question my decision; they assume it is for vague, undefined religious reasons, although my father, the doctor, tells them it is for my health. My reasons from this distance of many years, remains murky to me. ” Kothari states that she doesn’t know where this impulse comes from, but it is obvious that it came from outside influences.

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Indians were supposed to eat certain foods and because of this, Kothari didn’t eat like the other kids her age ate. The urge to fit in, whether into a culture or a group of kids at school, can cause an influence on the thoughts of that person.The kids at school, Kothari’s parents, the “cool” food to eat; these are all examples of things that caused Kothari to become a vegetarian. Not only can outside influences affect the food a person might eat, it may also affect the way a person acts towards someone else. Jerald Walker explains a situation in which he showed his racism towards a man trying to help him. “The communities I grew up in were dangerous and poor, and it was the common opinion of nearly everyone I knew that, when all was said and done, whites were to blame. ” Walker makes it clear through this quote, that the community he lived in influenced his racist beliefs.

Because everyone around him hated whites because of how they once treated blacks, it was destined for Walker to believe this, too. The people around him created this bubble of influence that reeled him in, that caused him to act that way towards a white man trying to help him. This idea goes in all directions. Not only one race is affected by this issue. Everyone grows up with influence on how to talk to people whether they are liked or not. No one, not even whites, hate other people without a reason. Something will always be there to influence you in the social area.Ron Sargent’s idea of college was turned because of someone who influenced his decision.

In the beginning, Ron obtained all his ideas and beliefs from his father. He lived off of his father’s words, depending on them to lead his life, until one day, someone else influenced him a little more. “It was Miss Dunlap who first got me thinking I had something to offer, and I was always grateful for her interest. ” Although Ron’s original dreams came off of what his father taught him, this situation shows how people, other than someone parents can influence them.This new dream caused Ron’s planned future to change. Influence from other people has the ability to shift things that can affect someone’s entire life. Mark Twain’s idea of outside influences is evident in these three stories as the authors explain their own experiences with them.

All of the authors state changes in the way they act or the way they think now that something in the outside world changed their views. Nothing is created by anyone one their own. Everything is influenced by some sort of action or idea that was seen or heard in the world around us.


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