By Mark Twain
One of many maximum satires in American literature, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court starts off while Hank Morgan, a talented mechanic in a nineteenth-century New England palms manufacturing unit, is struck at the head in the course of a quarrel and awakens to discover himself one of the knights and magicians of King Arthur’s Camelot.
What follows is a tradition conflict of the 1st value, as practical-minded Hank, disgusted with the lack of knowledge and superstition of the folks, makes a decision to enlighten them with schooling and expertise. via a sequence of splendidly resourceful adventures, Twain celebrates American homespun ingenuity and democracy in comparison to the backward ineptitude of a chivalric monarchy. while, even if, Twain increases the query of even if fabric growth unavoidably creates a greater society. As Hank turns into extra strong and self-righteous, he additionally turns into extra ruthless, extra autocratic, and no more in a position to keep an eye on occasions, till the single means out is a hugely harmful war.
While the darkish pessimism that might absolutely blossom in Twain’s later works may be discerned in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, the radical will however be remembered essentially for its wild leaps of mind's eye, wonderful wit, and enjoyable storytelling.
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Additional resources for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
The Tournament. CHAPTER X. - Beginnings of Civilization. CHAPTER XI. - The Yankee in Search of Adventures. CHAPTER XII. - Slow Torture. CHAPTER XIII. - Freemen! CHAPTER XIV. 舡 CHAPTER XV. - Sandy舗s Tale. CHAPTER XVI. - Morgan le Fay. CHAPTER XVII. - A Royal Banquet. CHAPTER XVIII. - In the Queen舗s Dungeons. CHAPTER XIX. - Knight Errantry as a Trade. CHAPTER XX. - The Ogre舗s Castle. CHAPTER XXI. - The Pilgrims. CHAPTER XXII. - The Holy Fountain. CHAPTER XXIII. - Restoration of the Fountain. CHAPTER XXIV.
Mark Twain has come up from the people,舡 said a paper in California, is 舠American to the backbone,舡 and has written a 舠bright and witty舡 satire on England. One Boston reviewer even noted that as examples of 舠the advance in popular bookmaking,舡 the novel舗s illustrations offered yet more proof of American progress. The only negative American review agreed that the novel舗s aim was 舠the glorification of American democracy,舡 but protested that it failed 舠through [its] extreme partiality舡 to Hank舗s smugly modern and nationalistic perspective.
Although none of Twain舗s contemporaries acknowledged it, Connecticut Yankee is less a window onto the Arthurian past than a funhouse mirror held up to the American nineteenth century. This becomes especially true when Hank (to quote the way Twain phrased it in a note to a promotional pre-publication excerpt from the novel that appeared in the Century magazine) 舠privately set[s] himself the task of introducing the great and beneficent civilization of the nineteenth century舡 into Arthur舗s realm. Looking in that mirror, we can see Hank舗s campaign to impose what Twain calls 舠a 舖Republic on the American plan舗舡 on the people of the sixth century either as a version of what the northern carpetbaggers did (two decades before Twain舗s novel) when they went into the South to reconstruct that society after the Civil War, or what American imperialists did beginning with the Spanish-American War (a decade after Twain舗s novel) when the United States decided to project its power onto other peoples.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Mark Twain