Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court


1.Why does Mark Twain use the device of a frame to begin and end the novel?

2.How different is Camelot from Connecticut according to Hank Morgan?

3. How does Morgan save his life and earn the favor of the King?

6. Why does Sir Sagramour challenge Morgan to fight a duel with him?

7. Why does the King choose Morgan to go hunting for the abducted princesses?

8. In what way does Sandy play the part of a faithful companion?

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2) 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 Twain's disillusionment with the value of modern progress.


2) Twain already sets about on his social commentary on the contrasts between the legend and what he projects to be the historical reality of the inequality of the time. While legend has it that the time of Arthur was one of prosperity and peace, Twain paints the town just outside the gates of fabled Camelot as depressed and sordid, inhabited by peasants who are no better than slaves and who live in poverty and filth. While often weaving sardonic humor to satirize institutions and people, when it comes to descriptions of inequality in Connecticut Yankee, Twain is serious and joke free. With almost muckraker -like reportage of social conditions, he depicts the indifference of the gentry and 'gallant' knights in armor towards the people; they pass coldly as the commoners bow and scrape in automaton-like deference.


3) He tells Clarence to tell the King that he too, is a great magician, capable of bringing calamity on them all if he is not released. The terrified boy goes off to give his grave message.

Meanwhile, Hank racks his brains for the miracle he is to produce when he hits upon the very thing: since he is to be hanged on the 21st, the date of the solar eclipse, he will threaten to blacken out the sun.

As Arthur's men finish tying Hank to the stake and a priest intones his last rites, the assembly freezes in terror as a solar eclipse begins across the edge of the sun. Hank takes immediate advantage of the moment and raises his hand to the sky, and declares that if any man move, he will consume everyone present fire and brimstone. He negotiates terms with the King, promising that he will not blot out the sun eternally provided that he be made the King's executive and that he be given 1 percent of the increase of the annual revenue thereafter. The King agrees to Hank's terms and orders him to be released. Hank plays his hand for all its worth and delays until the eclipse has become total before grandly declaring, "Let the enchantment dissolve and pass harmless away!"

When the sun's disk appears from the other side of the black shadow, the entire crowd cheers for joy and rushes Hank with blessings and gratitude.


6) During a particularly long tournament, Hank sends "an intelligent priest from the Department of Public Morals and Agriculture" to report on the proceedings. He is trying to train up journalists for the future time when the country would be ready to circulate newspapers. While Hank himself was reviewing the lists, Sir Dinadan the humorist enters his box and begins to tell him his humorless, sour, boring jokes, exasperating Hank to his wit's end. When Sir Dinadan finally leaves to take his place at the end of the lists, Hank mutters, "I hope to gracious he's killed," just as Sir Sagramore le Desirous is slammed against his box in heated combat with Sir Gareth. The hotblooded knight takes the comment as an insult, and challenges Hank to armed combat at a date to be set three or four years later‹after Sir Sagramore comes back from hunting for the Holy Grail.


gradesaver/ chapter 9 analysis

9) Sandy accompanies him everywhere, does his bidding, helps him to save the princess from the ogres, and later marries him.

1.The novel makes use of both geographical and historical settings, framed in one time and place and taking place primarily in another. Geographically, the novel opens and closes in and around Warwick Castle, England. The Castle is a tourist spot, and the narrator Mark Twain presumably meets the principal character, Hank Morgan, while sightseeing. Hank Morgan shares his story with the narrator in Warwick Castle and a hotel room. The exterior frame of the novel (made up of the first and last chapters) takes place over a period of a day and a half. Historically, this exterior frame is set in nineteenth century England.

2.Hank Morgan, finds himself constantly comparing this primal time and country to the recently industrialized and technologically advanced one of the nineteenth century. The novel is basically a juxtaposition of the old and the new, the pure and the developed. Hank Morgan spends most of the novel trying to transform Camelot into an advanced civilization, then spends the last moments of his life wishing he could return to the purer time in the past.

6. The Boss, accompanied by Sir Dinaden at the duels, watches the competition between Gareth and Sagramour. The Boss comments inadvertently " I hope to gracious he's killed," meaning Gareth. Sagramour mistakes this wish for one against him, and challenges Morgan to fight him in a duel when he returns from his search for the Holy Grail, at a date far off in the future.

7. Morgan travels as a knight-errant with Sandy, who has a story about an adventure and the need for a knight to rescue her royal family. He goes because he's expected to wander as a knight and build a reputation as an adventurer and hero. Morgan has also proven his worth in all kinds of endeavours except for saving a princess. That's part of the Knight's code of chivalry.

8. The damsel in distress that is assigned to Hank as he seeks out adventures. She is talkative, conversing "as steady as a mill." In one episode, Hank calls her "the mother of the German language" because of her interminable sentences. She believes that she has been sent to rescue forty-four maidens from an Ogre's Castle, but when she and Hank find it, the castle is only a pigsty with a bunch of hogs in it, a grave display of the power of superstition. Hank marries her out of a sense of embarrassment (she cannot leave him until another knight vanquishes him) but grows to love and adore her.

THe only one I wasn't sure about was #3 so I skipped it.