The Unities in “Connecticut Yankee”: [Essay Example], 784 words GradesFixer
exit-popup-close

Haven't found the right essay?

Get an expert to write your essay!

exit-popup-print

Professional writers and researchers

exit-popup-quotes

Sources and citation are provided

exit-popup-clock

3 hour delivery

exit-popup-persone
exit-popup-close

Haven't found the right essay?

Get an expert to write your essay!

close
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The Unities in “Connecticut Yankee”

Print Download now

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

blank-ico
Download PDF

There is no doubt that Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is marred by structural absurdities, flawed changes in tone, and a stuttering, episodic arrangement. The novel often attempts to do far too many things at once, juggling commentaries on chivalry, aristocracy, religion, technology, and more. That the book survives these shortcomings and goes on to transcend many of Twain’s other texts speaks to the author’s remarkable talent. The book succeeds largely due to a trio of elements that work below the surface narrative; these three devices are arguably the most valued tools in Twain’s repertoire.

The first of these, irony, is obvious from even a light reading. Never mind that Yankee was originally intended to be a romantic tale. Since readers are likely to sympathize with Hank Morgan, they instinctively reflect his presupposition that the 19th (or 21st) century is superior to the simple-minded, archaic designs of the 6th century, most likely because the differences between the two ages are immediate and tangible. Whereas the modern world has brought us a degree of gender and racial equality, charity, leisure, and democracy, the world that King Arthur inhabited was sordid, muddy, and a mockery of its own virtues. In the modern era, a man is allowed to be a man, and even those who must resort to menial physical labor are granted the chance to at least care for their own families without fear of a “greater” knocking down their doors. At least, such is the reality presented to us through Hank Morgan’s reflections, but as any person who has read a quantity of literature from that era knows, such decency was not often the case. In Chapter XXXIII, “Sixth-Century Political Economy,” Morgan attempts to detail the sly workings of the political economy to the blacksmith Dowley, but all of his arguments are ignorantly rebuked. What Morgan never stops to consider is that the situation he is dissecting was not unfamiliar to the 19th-century population; in fact, it was well-nigh analogous to the deplorable standards of life experienced by many of Morgan’s contemporaries.

This leads to the second facet of Twain’s style that keeps this far-reaching book from toppling over the edge: tragedy. The work appears to blindly assume that a richer economy strengthens a culture. Indeed, at face value this seems to be true; after all, how could a civilization that is educated, prosperous, and constantly evolving possibly amount to less than a civilization that puts itself at the mercy of inbred dolts adorned in cumbersome armor and ridiculous garments? This too, however, unravels in the end, when we see that Morgan’s “colony” of educated, like-minded revolutionaries default back to their superstitious ways at the drop of a hat. There are some instinctive human failings that cannot in a million years be eliminated, and thus there is little to no basis for assuming that all the technology in the world could make a culture truly “better.” As Twain commented regularly during the final years of his life, the human race is inherently sick and depraved, and regardless of the superficial masks that humans may wear, their souls remain destitute. Despite Morgan’s proud assumptions, humanity has not evolved much over the last 13 centuries, and the future doesn’t seem to look any better. In keeping with Twain’s Calvinist attitudes, there is nothing that man can do to save himself, nothing that can be done to redeem him.

Finally, we arrive at what is often described as the most distracting and irrelevant aspect of Twain’s writing: its humor. Often criticized as needlessly creating ambiguity in a situation or diminishing the story’s impact, many consider Twain’s focus on humor the failing of a man incapable of seriously addressing an important subject. To some extent, the critics are right: the humor does disrupt the mood and harmony, but perhaps the critics aren’t giving Twain enough credit. The most essential atom of a joke is its unexpectedness. A joke must, at its core, work to conceal the way things really are. This ambiguity is continually present in Morgan’s narrative, with his dubious presentation of things which may or may not be accurate. Then, at the end, we find that everything we have come to believe is not quite the truth. Merlin really is magical; technology alone cannot create a utopia; mankind cannot be salvaged; Morgan is not the hero of the story, but rather the villain. A joke doesn’t have to be funny to be a joke, but humor certainly helps, for when one is at last shown the horrible and sad truth of mankind’s doomed nature, what can one possibly do but laugh?

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

100% plagiarism free

Sources and citations are provided

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

GradesFixer. (2018, April, 17) The Unities in “Connecticut Yankee”. Retrived June 6, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-unities-in-connecticut-yankee/
"The Unities in “Connecticut Yankee”." GradesFixer, 17 Apr. 2018, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-unities-in-connecticut-yankee/. Accessed 6 June 2020.
GradesFixer. 2018. The Unities in “Connecticut Yankee”., viewed 6 June 2020, <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-unities-in-connecticut-yankee/>
GradesFixer. The Unities in “Connecticut Yankee”. [Internet]. April 2018. [Accessed June 6, 2020]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-unities-in-connecticut-yankee/
close

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close

Attention! this essay is not unique. You can get 100% plagiarism FREE essay in 30sec

Recieve 100% plagiarism-Free paper just for 4.99$ on email
get unique paper
*Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
download public sample
close

Sorry, we cannot unicalize this essay. You can order Unique paper and our professionals Rewrite it for you

close

Thanks!

Your essay sample has been sent.

Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

thanks-icon Order now
boy

Hi there!

Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

Check it out!
Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

GradesFixer.com uses cookies. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.