Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court

This past weekend I finished reading A Connecticut Yankee at Kind Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain.  It was a very enjoyable story and was definitely a page turner for me as I wanted to know how “the Boss” was going to get out of each predicament he got himself into.

Probably the only thing that I did not like about the book was the dialog of the people from the sixth century.  It’s not that the dialog didn’t add to the story, but it was extremely difficult to read.  Of course Twain did this on purpose as the English skills of the sixth century were not that of what they are today.  There were many passages that I had to read multiple times to decipher what the individual was trying to say.  I couldn’t imagine living in a place (and/or time) when I knew the people were speaking the same language but what they were saying was not decipherable.

I also found it interesting how Hank (the Boss) drew similarities between the sixth and nineteenth centuries.  I’m no history expert but most of the stuff described seemed feasible.  It was amazing to me that although the world is changing at a rapid rate, there were still things that had lasted centuries.  The big one that comes to mind is slavery.  It never really occurred to me how long slavery had actually existed.  In the grand scheme of things, abolishing slavery is still a very new thing.

This brings me to probably the most enlightening (for lack of a better word) part of the book.  I’m sure most everyone has heard many sayings to the tune of “we’re all cut from the same cloth.”  Twain does an excellent job showing that an individual out of their normal context is just like any other person.  The labels we give people are just that, labels.  They don’t make that person any smarter or stronger than anyone else.  For example, if you were to take the President of the United States and drop them off in a remote village somewhere, they would just be a stranger in the village.  To the villagers the President would just be another person.  Since they are unaware of what the label of President means, they would not place any value upon that label.  It really just boils down to the fact that we are all humans no matter how you want to group or label us.  I think the following quote from the Declaration of Independence ties up my thoughts neatly on this matter:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

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One Comment

  1. Nate!
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Sounds like an interesting book, I might check that out. Good stuff