Monday, October 28, 2019

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court (Book Report) Essay Example for Free

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court (Book Report) Essay Mark Twain is often thought of as the most cynical writer in American literature. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court is perhaps one of greatest works. In this amusing story, Twain takes an American entrepreneur from his own day and age, and thrusts him back to the age of King Arthur. The novel is therefore about how a nineteenth-century American industrialist might act if he found himself in medieval England. Mark Twain sees the Industrial Age in which he lived as a rabid attempt to exploit everyone and everything. And, thats exactly what Hank Morgan, also known as the â€Å"Boss†, does when he gets to Camelot. Hank uses science and technology to exploit Camelot. Threatened with execution, Hank remembers that an eclipse is supposed to occur in the near future, and he uses this knowledge to convince King Arthur and the rest of Camelot that Hank is a stronger magician than Merlin. Once Hank gains King Arthurs trust, he is able to do whatever he wants with Camelot and its people. Hank quickly goes about improving Camelot with industries and technologies that are common to nineteenth-century America. One of his schemes is to invent soap and making it available to all of the people of Camelot (since the people didn’t bathe as frequently in the third-century as they did in the nineteenth). Hank is appalled at how much power that the Established Church has over the people. So he decides that the people need to be educated, which will, naturally, weaken the churchs hold. Of course, being an entrepreneur at heart, Hank cant help but look on Camelot as an opportunity for exploiting people with his superior knowledge. In a very memorable scene, Hank describes the religious devotions of many of the monks of the time as, a monk who expresses his devotion to God by bowing over and over again, all day long, without stopping. Rather than being impressed by the monks passionate display of faith, Hank notes the astounding amount of energy the monk puts out every day. Not to see this wasted, he hooks up a sewing machine to the monk, using his bowing motions to run the machine. In this manner Hank manufactures and sells garments as religious souvenirs, and tells the readerwith not a little satisfactionabout the wild success of these garments. Beyond Twains customary critiques on slavery and religion, the book also  offers a somewhat different brand of cynicism Twains critique of science and progress. When Hank Morgan arrives in Camelot, it is a fairy-tale city that has long represented both nobility and weaknesses. Then, in his quest to improve the city, he destroys it. Everything that defines the time from the smelly, unwashed people to their superstitions and religious fervor is exploited in the name of progress. Here, then, we see Hank Morgan as an expression of Twains dislike with the value of modern progress.

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