Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Society and Class

By Mark Twain

Society and Class

Hank spends a lot of time dealing with the differences between the nobility and the peasants in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Both groups of people drive him nuts, but in very different ways. The nobles are arrogant and high handed, while the peasants never stand up for themselves in any way. (Neither of them are too bright, but that's beside the fact.) Many of the bad things Hank hopes to stop stem from these class differences. Changing them isn't like fighting a dragon or rescuing a princess—it's a lot more complicated than that—but doing so has the potential to do a lot more good for a lot more people (although Shmoop loves a good dragon slaying… just sayin').

Questions About Society and Class

  1. How do people's speech habits in the book reflect their class standing?
  2. How does Hank approach lower class people differently than upper class people?
  3. Why is it so important that Hank be given a title chosen by the people?
  4. How does Hank succeed at easing class differences in society? How does he fail?

Chew on This

Class is the key defining factor for characters in the book.

Class influences some characters, but other traits—like general stupidity—matter much more to their personality.

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