A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

by

Mark Twain

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Themes

Themes and Colors
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
Imperialism  Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture  Theme Icon
Superiority, Power, and Authority Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

New World vs. Old World

Hank Morgan, the protagonist of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, is torn from nineteenth-century America and transported back in time to sixth-century England. The novel uses Hank’s experiences to explore the contrast between the democratic, egalitarian ideals of the American “New World” and the “Old World” ideals of medieval England. This contrast is a favorite theme of Hank’s, who is a big fan of the New World and of the revolutions—American…

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Imperialism

When Hank Morgan, the protagonist of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, finds himself stranded in sixth-century Britain, he thinks of himself a new Robinson Crusoe, Christopher Columbus, or Hernando Cortéz. Each of these men (Crusoe is fictional; Columbus and Cortéz are historical) is responsible for imposing his rule on the unsuspecting population of a distant land. As soon as Hank realizes that he’s landed in a less advanced society, his first…

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Nature vs. Nurture

In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Hank Morgan travels back in time from nineteenth-century America to sixth-century England, where he becomes the second-most powerful man in King Arthur’s kingdom. In this position, he tries to single-handedly establish an industrial civilization 13 centuries ahead of its time. But to succeed in this effort, Hank must overcome the “training,” of Arthur’s citizens. Hank maintains that training—the values and ideals a person is taught—is…

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Superiority, Power, and Authority

Hank Morgan, a nineteenth-century American man who’s travelled backward through time and space to sixth-century England, upholds many believes about himself and his beloved American democracy; but above all else, Hank believes he’s superior to everyone in the medieval world. And in order to persuade his unsuspecting medieval followers of this superiority, he uses his superior technological know-how to create one stunning “effect” or “miracle” after another. During a natural eclipse, he pretends to…

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