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Word Count: 721
The art of literature has long been used as a vehicle for entertaining the masses However many stories have another purpose such as expressing the writers feelings on social customs from years gone bye or at the time of writing One vehicle which is often used to attain this goal is satire Mark Twains novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court is an excellent example of using satire as social commentaryReis 316 The novel is definitely a commentary on the ideals of King Arthurs sixth century Camelot but the many inconsistencies and ambiguities which are apparent in the story also suggest that Twain was also satirizing the flaws in the authors own nineteenth century societyWiggins 80 If we look at the character progression of both Hank Morgan and Merlin the reader can easily see Twains dual-criticism When Hank arrives in Camelot he quickly rises to power His manipulation of public opinion regarding him by the use of miracles immediately brings Hank to the realization that he can basically do whatever he pleases His knowledge of nineteenth century technology makes Hank Morgan a human standing next to apesRobinson 190 This section of the story is filled with Twains commentary on the absurdness of the ideals of Chivalry When Camelot is looked at from the standpoint of twentieth century practicality it looks so absurd that it is funnyRobinson 184 An excellent example of this can be found in the banquet which the Knights of the Round Table attend and at which Hank is sentenced The knights supposed pillars of Chivalry sit around the table discussing their own deeds drinking and embellishing the facts of events which had taken place The Knights also partake in activities that we would label as childish such as the amusement over the dog chasing its tailTwain 24-25 The passage emphasizes the childish innocence of the sixth century people but it also shatters the romantic ideals that
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