illustrated profile of a man and an armored knight connected by two overlapping circles with a fortress skyline below them

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

by Mark Twain

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In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, how did Hank use his social rank to improve conditions?

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Hank found the people of Camelot to be superstitious and gullible. In their naivete, he found it easy to con them into believing he possessed magical powers. Once he won over King Arthur and the rest of the inhabitants of Camelot, he sought to improve their lot in society. He helped to create a functioning newspaper, the telephone, a railroad, an educational system ("The Man Factory"),and many other 19th century inventions and technological advancements. It is through his Man Factory that he hopes to increase religious options, choice and freedom and free the "freeman" of the ties that have bound them to be servants to the ruling class. While Hank has great intentions, he falls prey to the power of being one of the "divinely chosen." As The Boss, he works closely with King Arthur the Knights of the Round Table. It is also through this title and association that he avoids death and captivity.

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Hank used his power over society to get the King to promote political reform, abolish slavery, and bring in the railroad, sewing machines and other 19th century inventions. Hank tried to better the people by having King Arthur travel with him to see how the other side of the kingdom survived. That, of course, didn't exactly work out as Hank had intended

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