Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Graded Blog #2

For class on Monday Dr. Johns told us to come prepared with something to say about the assigned reading of A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court. I did not share my thoughts in class but it seems perfect that this weeks assignment was about irony, because that was what was on my mind anyway.

Before all of the irony talk on Monday, I thought to myself, "Wow, this is really ironic how Hank is trying his best to help out Old England, yet Rebecca Harding Davis said how evil humans are." So already we have seen both extremes of ideas about the human race.

What gives me the idea that Twain (and of course Hank) are polar opposites of Davis is the good things that Hank wants to bring to these people that are sooo far behind compared to him. For example, Hank has been training people about crafts and sciences. He even gets some of his people to look for others that can help him out that have special potential. Education was even something that he thought about so he instituted a school system. This clearly means to me that Twain and Hank feel that they would expect anyone else to do this if anyone were in their position. One thing that I think really shows Hank's good heart is in chapter 8 when he could have had a title from the king, but his principles kept him from accepting any title except one from the nation itself. It paid off because a couple of years later the people gave him a title like he was the boss. This example shows the compassion that people can have for one another as long as they are treated fairly. These cannot be the same people that Davis is talking about, can it? She says that all humans are animals and they care about themselves, but I think Twain, but mostly Hank dissuaded me from siding with Davis.

This right here was the most ironic thing I could think of, especially because it came straight to mind. You cannot get more ironic than an author telling you how bad humans are one week and then another author telling you how good humans are the next week...all in the same class. Actually, I take that back, "Thank you, officer" is the MOST ironic.

Zach Lee

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

This entry feels padded at both the beginning and the end, which is too bad, because your interest in the gap between Twain's view of humanity and Davis' is worth exploring.

It doesn't work as well as it could, though, because you're assuming that because Hank is an optimist (we could even argue this point, but you certainly have a case at least), then Twain is also. In fact, I'd argue this is one of the good places to find a gap (irony) between Twain and Hank: Hank's faith in himself and ultimately in humanity is being mocked from Twain's cynical, ironic standpoint.

And Davis' pessimism might be questioned, too. Her language is biting, but it's also in a particular _religious_ tradition (the Jeremiad) which is used to try to make ostensibly religious people pay attention to their duties.

One could argue that she is the real optimist and Twain the real pessimist...