Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Wisdom and Knowledge

By Mark Twain

Wisdom and Knowledge

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court constantly stresses how cool learning can be. Hank understands how to approach complex problems, sees the subtle details in economics and social standing, and applies what he learns to get himself out of various scrapes. More importantly, he uses his knowledge for the greater good: helping out the people of Arthur's kingdom and reducing suffering whenever he can. In most cases, the two go hand in hand, both with Hank (whose wisdom seems to come from the fact that he's so well-educated) and those around him (like Clarence, who becomes a better man the more he learns).

Questions About Wisdom and Knowledge

  1. Do Hank's engineering skills automatically make him wiser? Why or why not?
  2. Why aren't traditionally wise characters like Merlin and the monks at the fountain shown as being so?
  3. Is Clarence eager to learn because he's basically good? Does he become wiser as he gains in learning?
  4. Why doesn't Hank's knowledge save him in the end when Merlin sends him back in time?

Chew on This

Knowledge and learning alone make Arthur's Britain a better place.

Hank's learning doesn't matter as much as the way he chooses to apply it.

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