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Why did Mark Twain use a hero like Hank?

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kayla1996 | Student, College Freshman | TA | (Level 2) Honors

Posted November 8, 2011 at 6:10 AM via web

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Why did Mark Twain use a hero like Hank?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 8, 2011 at 7:15 AM (Answer #1)

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There are various opinions regarding Twain's purpose in writing A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Some would say that Twain was once again demonstrating his mastery of the writing of humorous satire, using the character of Hank to make fun of the foibles of all who consider themselves to be better than the common people, such as royalty and leaders of the church. Others feel that Twain was commenting on the fallacy of considering modern technology as being the great advance that his contemporaries felt such inventions as telephones and firearms to be.

In either interpretation or in other ways, Hank is at times resourceful in a foreign setting and at times completely inappropriate in what he says and does. Twain used Hank as a foil for expressing his frustrations with humanity and society as he saw it late in his life.


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