Study Guide: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court|
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TEACHING GUIDE: A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT
Twain also satirizes the religious order in this chapter. The monks want the Boss to work a miracle to resume the water supply in the well; at the same time they want him to act according to the norms of the church. They tell the Boss “And see thou do it with enchantments that be holy, for the church will not endure that work in her cause be done by devil’s magic.” The monks at the valley are hypocritical in their attitude.
Twain’s description of the hermits is inspired by Lackey’s Lives
of the Saints and he goes as far as to refer his reader to this book
for more information on the contortionist hermits. However, through Morgan,
he also ridicules the hermits who are looked upon as men of God by the
common man. The Boss sees the elevation of these hermits to saints is
a gross misapplication of the people’s respect, since the hermits’ various
contortions seem designed only to impress and amaze the common man. Ever
the businessman, The Boss makes use of one of hermits to further his business
scheme and make a profit in the bargain.
Merlin uses his magical powers to the best of his abilities, but fails
in his attempt to restore the fountain. He states it is impossible. At
that point, The Boss enters with assistance and equipment and proceeds
to repair the well. He uses fireworks and other flashy effects to glamorize
his work, then invites all the people to witness the magical event. As
the audience watch expectantly, water gushes forth from the chapel after
a display of fireworks. The abbot is overwhelmed and expresses gratitude
to The Boss for saving the Holy Valley. Merlin leaves, having once again
been disgraced, and The Boss is a hero again.
The chapter again reveals the desire of The Boss to glorify his achievement
and earn recognition. It also shows his fierce competitiveness, as he
tries once again to humiliate and defeat Merlin. The Boss makes use of
his mechanical skill to block the leak and channel the water through a
pipe to the Chapel. After the water fills up in the well, he lights up
“Greek fires” (roman candles) before offering magical prayers to the almighty.
Then he releases the water through the pipe so that it gushes out through
the Chapel. He heightens the effect of the miracle to excite his audience.
The Boss is applauded once again and his imaged is enhanced further.
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. 09 May 2017