A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Dover Thrift by Mark Twain

By Mark Twain

Hank Morgan unearths himself transported to darkish a long time England—where he's instantly captured and sentenced to loss of life at Camelot. thankfully, he’s quick-witted, and within the technique of saving his lifestyles he turns himself right into a megastar of the top magnitude—winning himself the placement of best minister in addition to the lasting enmity of Merlin.

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Extra resources for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Dover Thrift Editions)

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Some of his strongest late works are his attacks on imperialism, including “To the Person Sitting in Darkness” (1901) and “King Leopold’s Soliloquy” (1905). Read in this context, Connecticut Yankee’s account of exporting America to foreign lands is prescient, and devastating. The book’s anti-imperialism is another theme that comes into focus only when we read it ironically. Hank describes himself as a liberator, even—as when he talks about his intention to “resurrect a dead nation” (p. 88)—a savior.

One of the most striking things about the novel’s contemporary reviews is that none so much as mentioned the apocalyptic violence of its climax. Nor did any contemporary reviewer mention the equally surprising note the novel strikes on its very last page, when Hank dies nostalgic for the sixth century. Although Merlin’s ineffective spells provide comic relief throughout the rest of the novel, at the close he casts one on Hank that puts him to sleep for thirteen centuries. But Merlin getting his magic to work is not the biggest surprise.

It is the very demon for conveying similarities of sound that are miracles of divergence from similarity of sense” (p. 247). The repetition of the word “miracle” reverses or at least complicates its sense. Is technology a divine or a demonic “miracle”? What world is Hank creating by industrializing the sixth century—a holy or a hellish one? If these questions seem abstract or even comic in the context of words as sounds, what Hank sees with his own eyes at the novel’s conclusion drives the issue of technology home with graphic seriousness.

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