Study Guide: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court|
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FREE STUDY GUIDE: A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT
The Boss faces opposition at two levels, the individual and the social.
Merlin is the primary individual opponent of The Boss, although others
at times oppose him in his quest to modernize and industrialize Camelot.
These others include people who are at first friends: Launcelot and Marco,
for example. On the social level, the Orthodox Catholic Church and its
superstitious followers antagonize and oppose The Boss. The church and
the priests fear revolutionary ideas and scientific knowledge presented
by The Boss because those beliefs pose a great threat to the supremacy
of the church leaders. Merlin and the church represent the status quo,
and The Boss represents the forces of change. As such, they are pitted
against one another throughout the novel.
When Boss leaves Camelot, after his daughter falls ill, Sir Launcelot
manipulates the stocks and antagonizes the other knights. He also angers
the King by having an affair with the Queen. The war that ensues retards
the progress of Camelot and destroys the inventions of the Boss. The church
steps in and resumes control of the state. All the efforts to modernize
Camelot are destroyed. In addition to these dramatic social developments,
Merlin casts a spell on The Boss in the midst of the crisis and causes
him to sleep well into the nineteenth century.
The Boss wakes in nineteenth century England after having spent several
years fighting to modernize the sixth century and criticizing a backward
civilization. He finds Mark Twain, tells his story both verbally and on
paper, and dies with a final wish to return to that backward time and
place he realizes he loves dearly.
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. 09 May 2017