Study Guide: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court|
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FREE STUDY NOTES: A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHURíS COURT
Finally, it is time for The Boss to start his quest. He accompanies Demoiselle Alisande Le Carteloise, or Sandy, on a mission to free her mistress and forty-four princesses from captivity. Burdened with a heavy armor, The Boss braves heat, exhaustion, the continuous chatter of Sandy, and a horde of Knights to reach the castle of Morgan le Fay. Morgan is pleasant to look at but cruel in her attitude to her subordinates. The Boss wins her favor by projecting himself as a powerful magician and moves on. They encounter various difficulties and meet many mythical people, including the notorious Morgan LeFay of Camelot lore. At some point, they are summoned to the Valley where the pilgrims meet, since there is a problem with the Holy Well and the people believe only The Boss can help.
When they reach the Valley, the boss realizes that the problem is a mere leak. Still he uses the ignorance of the people to his advantage. He informs the monks that he can work a miracle that will bring back the water to the well. He orders equipment and help from Camelot and waits till Merlin gives up trying to fix it with his magic. Then The Boss secretly begins to repair the hole in the well. Soon after the work is completed, he exhibits his miracle with pomp and show to a large audience. Once more he is successful and much admired for his skill.
The King comes to the Holy Valley to do his work there and he and The Boss decide to take a trip together. They both disguise themselves in order to travel incognito. The King finds it difficult to act the part of a peasant, since his pampered nature and royal breeding seem inseparable from his personality. He witnesses firsthand the cruelty of his knights toward the common man, and since he himself is disguised as a commoner, he is often the brunt of their misdeeds. He and The Boss encounter several tragic stories among the poverty stricken people. They also find themselves in frequent trouble.
The King and The Boss come upon a burning house where a man has been killed. Someone tells them the dead man is the Lord of the Manor, who has been killed by three peasants that he wrongfully put in prison. The peasants, on escaping prison, set his house on fire and killed him.
The Boss befriends some people in the town, but cannot resist showing off his wealth and superior knowledge in front of others. The peasants are suspicious of him and the King. A ruckus ensues and the King and The Boss are forced to flee. They are rescued from an angry mob by an Earl, but find that he has saved them only so that he may sell them as slaves. From that point, their hardships only multiply. They bear the brunt of the severe climate as well as the wrath of their master. The King, who in the past had made his subjects slaves, is now the slave of his own cruel master.
The Boss manages to escape but is caught before he can rescue The King. He is taken to court, where he concocts a story about being the servant of a noble man and is thus released (since the courts are biased in favor nobility and the clergy). He then contacts Clarence on the telephone and asks him to send Knights to rescue the King from the prison cell. When he reaches the market place, he learns that the slaves had killed their cruel master and are now going to be executed. Before he can do anything to help, he is also captured and corralled for execution.
In the open courtyard, three of the prisoners are executed and the King awaits his turn. Suddenly, the Knights led by Sir Launcelot arrive to free His Majesty and The Boss. Rescued, they all return to Camelot. The King has gained more sympathy for his subjects, having experienced firsthand the hardships of being a commoner in a country that favors clergy and nobility. But the trials are not over for The Boss. Sir Sagramour has returned from his search for the Holy Grail, and is ready to duel. The Boss defeats Sagramour, as well as many other outraged Knights (including Launcelot) who are too proud to see a lowly man defeat the much lauded Knights. Still, The Boss emerges victorious over all
Shortly after this incident, the boss starts revolutionizing England with his forward-looking policies and technical skills. He openly encourages enrollment in schools and other institutions like the military academy. He popularizes telephone, telegraph, and railways. Slowly and steadily he realizes his dream of making Camelot into a modern city. He now nurtures ambitions of making England a republic. He marries Sandy and they have a daughter. She becomes ill and the doctor urges him to take the child out of the country, to the sea. The Boss complies, and spends about a month away from Camelot.
When their daughter recovers enough, The Boss leaves for Camelot, promising to return for his wife and daughter. But Camelot is not as he had left it. England is gloomy and dark. His inventions and implements are out of use and he observes fear in the eyes of the people. Soon he realizes that the church has taken over the state in his absence and an Interdict has been issued against him. On reaching Camelot, he gathers information about the sequence of events leading to the Interdict. Sir Launcelot, after manipulating the shares, had antagonized other knights. He had also angered the King by openly expressing his affection for the queen. A war resulted between the King and the other knights against Launcelot. The King was killed, the queen vowed to live as a nun, and all The Bossís progress had been undone. Except for a small army of young men (about fifty) that Clarence had organized, there was no one left to fight this coup.
The Boss, Clarence, and the small group of rebels lay a trap for the knights
by hiding in a cave equipped with explosives. They lure the knights there
and promptly defeat them. The Boss is stabbed when he tries to help one
of the knights he has wounded. At that time, Merlin casts a spell on him,
causing him to fall asleep for thirteen hundred years. In this way the
tale of the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurís court ends. The novel
closes as it began--with the encounter between Mark Twain with the stranger.
Twain has finished reading the manuscript and goes to meet the stranger
in order to return the manuscript. Hank Morgan is on his deathbed and
in his delirious state remembers Sandy and his daughter Hello-Central.
He longs to return to Camelot and experience its idyllic charm, regardless
of the fact that he had once thought it crude and undeveloped.
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. 09 May 2017