Mark Twain is one of the most infamous American writer in our literary history… His wit and witticisms are legendary. Who better to get a balanced (or perhaps completely off-kilter) take on Thanksgiving? What’s the religious aspect?
“No one ever seems to think of the Deity’s side of it; apparently no one concerns himself to inquire how much or how little He has had to be thankful for during the same period; apparently no one has had good feeling enough to wish He might have a Thanksgiving day too. There is nothing right about this.” – Mark Twain, “A Thanksgiving Sentiment”
In his writings, Mark Twain has a unique (irreverent) take on God, religion and all the rest. But, his point is well-taken. Twain puts human-like emotion to the “Deity,” imagining that even He would like to be wished: Happy Thanksgiving!
“The observance of Thanksgiving Day–as a function–has become general of late years. The Thankfulness is not so general. This is natural. Two-thirds of the nation have always had hard luck and a hard time during the year, and this has a calming effect upon their enthusiasm.” – Mark Twain, Following the Equator
Hardships have a way of dampening our impressions on life, love and all the rest. It can seem difficult to get into the thankful feeling when tragedy strikes…
“Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for–annually, not oftener–if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man’s side, consequently on the Lord’s side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.” – Mark Twain, Autobiography
“THANKSGIVING DAY. Let us all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks now, but the turkeys. In the island of Fiji they do not use turkeys; they use plumbers. It does not become you and me to sneer at Fiji.” – Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson