Knowledge And Technology In A


Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is a complicated novel that fundamentally deals with the concept of the human experience. Hank Morgan is a nineteenth century mechanic who is transported back thirteen centuries to medieval Britain, during the time of King Arthur. After his initial shock, he becomes determined to “civilize” Camelot by introducing modern industrial technology. At an initial look Twain seems to be favoring the industrialized capitalist society that he lives in over the feudal society of medieval Britain. But in a closer examination of the work it becomes clear that this observation is much too simple, as the industrial ...

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begins his plans to free the serfs and establish a republic. However his plans are destined to fail because he is incapable of understanding values that are different from his own; he is the ultimate know-it all, and sets out to remake the world in his own image. He is given “the choicest suite of apartments in the castle, after the king’s”(Twain 31), but he criticizes them because they lack the conveniences of the nineteenth century, such as “a three-color God-Bless-Our-Home over the door”(Twain 32). His lack of acceptance of the local culture is also seen through his Victorian modesty, he sleeps in his armor because “it would have seemed so like undressing before folk”(Twain 60), even though he had clothes on underneath, and he is repelled by the language used in mixed company.
Although Hank says he only wants to help the poor people of Britain who in his words “… were merely modified savages”(Twain 61), create a society like his own where “…all political power is inherent in ...

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have on the people of the Camelot. Instead of educating the general public and teaching them how and why something works instead he sends a select few to his “man factories”.
He uses his knowledge instead to produce fantastic miracles, which although they give him personal power, continue to perpetuate the superstitions of the populace that he is trying to overcome. For example, Hank is asked to fix the well at the Valley of Holiness. He installs a pump that will return the water, but instead of explaining the principle behind the pump, Hank keeps the people in the dark and passes off the project as a great miracle. Afterward he says, “…the populace uncovered and fell ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/18/2008 02:53:05 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1284
Pages: 5

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