In Chapter 1 of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, the role of inequality is emphasized heavily. The quote on page 8, paragraph 2 shows this. The quote is “They and the women, as a rule, wore a coarse tow-linen robe that came well below the knee, and a rude sort of sandals, and many wore an iron collar. The small boys and girls were always naked; but nobody seemed to know it.” (Twain PG 8).
The Yankee seems to be looking down on the people around him, thinking he is better than they are. The role of inequality is shown throughout the book. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court also touches on the role of democracy and social stratification in Chapter 2. Democracy is portrayed when the Yankee observes the round table. The quote is “As a rule, the speech and behavior of these people were gracious and courtly; and I noticed they were good and serious listeners when anybody was telling anything—I mean in a dogless interval.” (Twain PG 13).
He showed how the people at the table round listened to each other and each other’s ideas. Social stratification is shown on page 13. The quote is “ The rascals—they have served other people so in their day; it being their own turn, now, they were not expecting any better treatment than this”. (Twain PG 13). This shows how the poor are treated and they never expect more. The role of social stratification will be shown in the next chapter. In Chapter 5, the role of social stratification and power struggle are shown.
Social stratification is shown in the quote “Merlin, in his malice, had woven a spell about this dungeon, and there bides not the man in theses kingdoms that would be desperate enough to essay to cross it lines with you!” (Twain PG 22). This shows how Merlin is feared by many. A power struggle is also shown by the quote “He was frightened even to marrow, and was minded to give order for your instant enlargement, and that you be clothed in fine raiment and lodged as befitted one so great; but then came Merlin and spoiled it all.” (Twain PG 24).
This shows the power struggle between Hank and Merlin, which will be more in later chapters. In Chapter 6, the role of inequality is included in two ways. It is shown in the quote “The king, by his silence, still stands to the terms.” Then I lifted up my hands—stood so just a moment—then I said, with the most awful solemnity: “Let the enchantment dissolve and pass harmless away!” (Twain PG 31).
This is inequality because he knew of the eclipse and that deceived the people. Chapter 7 portrays power struggle and the role of technology. Technology is shown when Hank blows up Merlin’s tower, knowing a way to do it with his advanced knowledge. The quote is “ There fore I am going to call down fire and blow up your tower.” (Twain PG 35). Technology is used to Hank’s advantage with the lightning rod. A power struggle is also portrayed when Merlin admits defeat from Hank. The quote is “ And as for being grateful, he never even said thank—you. He was a rather hard lot, take him how you might; but then you couldn’t fairly expect a man to be sweet that had been set back so.” (Twain PG 36).
Chapter 8 focuses in on power struggles and the role of the Catholic Church. The Yankee is given the title “the Boss” and is given more power. The quote is “ I was never known by any other designation afterward, whether in nation’s talk or in grave debate upon matters of state at the council board of the sovereign. The title translated into modern speech, would be the Boss.” (Twain PG 40).
This shows how he gains power and wants more. The role of the Roman Catholic Church is portrayed in the quote “ There you see the hand of that awful power, the Roman Catholic Church.” (Twain PG 39). Here, the Boss refers to his displeasure with the Catholic Church.