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Satire Analysis Essay

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs court is a true masterpiece of american literature,


climax of Mark Twains genius and a great example of comprehensive and merciless satire. The
novel, that started as a parody on the genre of chivalric romance, becomes more serious with
every page. In his very own way the author reveals the problems of society, such as slavery,
prejudice, power of the church, monarchy and many others. In order to grab readers attention,
make him enjoy the book, the author uses irony, ridicule and exaggeration. He does that so
masterfully that nobody can read the book without laughter.
The main instrument in the novel is irony. Twains use of irony emphasizes how ridiculous
and absurd some problems are. Although the action in the story is happening in the sixth century,
many of the problems that characters faced are the same. By the time Mark Twain had finished his
book slavery has been abolished, but many people, especially in the South states, still lived in
anxiety and discrimination. The author uses peasants to draw a parallel between medieval Britain
and America in nineteenth century. They were freemen, but they could not leave the estates of
their lord or their bishop without his permission; they could not prepare their own bread, but must
have their corn ground and their bread baked at his mill and his bakery, and pay roundly for the
same. The author shows that despite the fact that people call themselves freemen they are not
as free as the think they are. He saw the same situation with newly liberated african americans.
The author also uses sarcasm to reveal hypocrisy of people. As a rule, the speech and behavior
of these people were gracious and courtly; and I noticed that they were good and serious listeners
when anybody was telling anything - I mean in a dog-fightless interval. Using sarcasm the author
shows that people have not changed since sixth century, they are still two-faced and insincere.
One of the purposes of the novel was to mock the genre of chivalric romance, that was very
popular in thirteenth century literature. In order to do so the author uses exaggeration. In the
beginning of the novel Hank, protagonist of the story, found himself in sixth century, and he got
caught by a knight of the round table sit Kay near Camelot. The knight captures Hank and brings
him to the round table to King Arthur. In front of the King and his retinue sit Kay told a story of how
he captured Hank. In his story he killed nine giants and enormous number of wizards, which he
thought Hank was. It is interesting how author uses exaggeration through his character in order to
make the situation absurd and funny, because the reader knows the truth of how Hank was
captured. Not only does it mock the genre of chivalric romances, but it also makes the story more
funny and interesting at the same time.
Mark Twain was indeed master of sarcasm, for no-one uses sarcasm the way he does it. It
is amazing that although the novel was written more than a hundred years ago, the story is still
fresh and fascinating. The satire in this book is merciless, yet keen and accurate.As to that, we
shall see, anon. An I rack him to death and he confess not, it will peradventure show that he had
indeed naught to confess -- ye will grant that that is sooth? Then shall I not be damned for an
unconfessed man that had naught to confess -- wherefore, I shall be safe.