Essay, Research Paper: Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur`s Court

Literature: Mark Twain

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In the political and social satire A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s
Court, Mark Twain demonstrates his excessive pride and glory in the political,
economic, and technological advances of his time by developing an interesting
plot in which an 19th century mechanic travels back to the time of a cruel
feudalistic Camelot and attempts to modernize and improve it. Overall, in A
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain compares the basic
political, social, and technological principles of the 19th America to the
medieval ages of Great Britain. On a political scale, the novel denounces that
the medieval period exemplified strict rule by the monarch, unity between church
and state, and showed that many of the people had extremely harsh judgment. On a
social scale, Mark Twain demonstrated that the Middle Ages carried a strict
separation of classes where the nobility and clergy had much control, while the
peasantry had almost non. Last, on a technological scale, Mark Twain implies
that magic is not real and he goes on further to prove that the technology and
tools of his time frame could have greatly improved the Middle Ages. All in all,
Mark Twain creates an ideal character from his time that ends up creating a
semi-utopian environment in Camelot. When Hank Morgan awakened into the medieval
world of King Arthur and Camelot, he saw political injustice. To compensate for
this injustice, Morgan used his status as a beneficiary tool and combated
against the church and the royal privileged. Overall, he made the people of
Camelot aware of the injustice of their time and gave them the hope for an
optimistic future. From this, we can see that Mark Twain believed that his time
frame possessed the best type of government in which church was separated from
state. Furthermore, Mark Twain implies that the people of his time had better
judgment. For example, in order to save himself from death, Morgan remembers
that an ellipse occurred on that day and informs the people that he will cover
the whole world in darkness. As he said those words, the ellipse occurred thus
making all the gullible citizens of Camelot to believe that he was extremely
powerful. As a result, he was spared. Thus from this example, it is evident that
the people of the middle ages were quick to rational supernatural phenomenon
even though it was just pure science at work. Conclusively, Mark Twain glorified
his time period to an extent that the he used the horrid faults of the Middle
Ages as an example in his novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
The next major point that Mark Twain wanted to concentrate on was based on the
social conditions. In the novel, Hank Morgan is a witness of injustice and
social inequality that he believes needs to be altered. Once again, it is
noticeable from this that Mark Twain shows bias towards all other types of
social distinctions, and rather favors the American democratic way. Furthermore,
Twain enforces various principles of what he believes to be “good
government” in which the nobility and commoners alike enter into a life of
respect, dignity, and purpose towards each other. Moreover, through Morgan, it
obvious to see that Twain is against slavery and is pro-education. All of these
characteristics are evident because Morgan eventually abolishes slavery and
builds various schools including West Point. Lastly, Mark Twain shows great
respect for the technological advances of his time through the characterization
of Morgan. For example, as a mechanic, Hank Morgan realized that his life would
be unbearable with out technology. As a result, he begins inventing various
equipment like telephone, telegraph, and even bicycles; inventions that
otherwise would seem preposterous to exist at that time but were greatly revered
in the 19th century. It also becomes evident that Mark Twain had great respect
for education and very little in superstition or magic. For example, because of
Morgan’s scientific knowledge, he was able to predict the eclipse and he was
even able to turn aside a half-dozen charging knights by simply blowing a column
of pipe smoke from beneath his armored face shield. Furthermore, another example
of where education outpoured magic was when Morgan restored the flow of water to
a fountain by simple mechanics, while Merlin’s “magical” methods did not
work. In conclusion, the social and political satire, A Connecticut Yankee in
King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain, uses a character from 19th century America
as a type of savor to the horrible feudalistic times of the Middle Age Camelot.
By stressing bias beliefs about the political, social and technological advance
of his time, Mark Twain creates a nearly utopian environment for Camelot.
Oppression, social injustice, and slavery were abolished, while education,
inventions, just government, new professions like engineering and even belief of
a virtuous approach to life was introduced. All in all, by showing mans
inhumanity and then its victories through a utopian type of middle age society
in a satirical fashion make this literary pieces one of the best literary works
of our time.
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