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A theme central to all of Twain's satires is the question of the power of training against an inherent human nature. On most levels, Hank believes that training and influence determine the good or bad outcome of a society; his project of civilization is based on the belief that he can train the English people to think and thus, live differently. But he is at a loss to explain why, despite training, people revert to foolish and destructive practices. This is a theme played out in modern times as well.