Monday, August 6, 2012

"A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" Chapters I-II recap and thoughts

As you all know, we have finished Oliver Twist and we are starting "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain. I am already into Part IV, but I will be recapping Chapters I-II, plus "A Word of Explanation". Let's get started.

A Word of Explanation:

This is basically the prologue, where one protagonist encounters a man who speaks of Sir Lancelot and the other Knights of the Round Table. Then the one protagonist (who's name is never spoken yet, so I just call him the protagonist...) reads...

How Sir Lancelot Slew Two Giants and Made A Castle Free

Yeah, we go into the story of how Lancelot killed 2 giants and saved a castle from their plight, with Sir Kay in a supporting role.

As soon as the one protagonist finishes the story and puts his book down, the main protagonist comes in and tells his story:

The Stranger's History:

Finally, he has an (somewhat) name! The Stranger relates that he is an American, born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, making him a "Yankee of the Yankees." Then he tells us that his father was a blacksmith, and his uncle was a horse doctor, and the Stranger was both for a while until he learned the arms trade and worked and knew how to make weapons, boilers, and engines. He became head superintendent of the factory he worked at, and then ended up in a dispute with crowbars against a man nicknamed Hercules, at which Herc (abbreviation time!) knocked the Stranger out.

When the Stranger awoke, he was met by a man on a horse, described as "a fellow fresh out of a picture-book." He then tells the horseman to "get along back to your circus." The horseman then proceeded to charge at the Stranger, but doesn't run into him, then informs Stranger that he is the horseman's property, and they begin walking. When they see a far away town, the Stranger asks the horseman if the town is Bridgeport, to which the man simply replies, "Camelot." As the beginning closes, the Stranger give the man to which he has been telling the story, that he has written a journal/story of his adventures and gives it to the man to read, which he does.

FINALLY! On with official Part I, and chapters I-II.

Chapter I: Camelot

This chapter is basically a description of Camelot's streets, and its inhabitants. One of the things that gets me is that "the small boys and girls were always naked, but nobody seemed to know it." I can get babies being naked (lack of diapers), but when they're young like that? They couldn't make clothing small enough for them?

But I digress in order to get this recap done. Eventually they arrive at the castle, at which Chapter II begins.

Chapter II: King Arthur's Court

This chapter starts off with the Stranger sneaking away for a moment to ask an "ancient common looking man" if he belonged to the asylum (He still thinks he's in an asylum. -_-) or if he was just visiting, to which the man starts to reply, but is rudely interrupted by the Stranger, stating that the man did belong to the asylum.

Then he goes to another one, asking about the head keeper, to which the man says, "Prithee do not let me."
To which when asked what he said, he restates it, using the word "hinder." The Stranger was then approached by a page, who had come for the Stranger, who then remarks (as the funniest part of the chapter,) "Go along, you ain't more than a paragraph."

The page then strikes up a one-sided conversation, until he mentions that he was born in 513, to which the Stranger then asks for the year again, thinking he heard wrong, but the page repeats his birth year. The Stranger then asks where he is and what the date is, to which the page tells him he is in King Arthur's Court, and that the date is June 19th, 528 A.D.

The Stranger then asks the page, who's name is Clarence, the name of the horseman that brought him to Camelot, to which the page replies that the horseman was "Sir Kay the Seneschal, foster brother to our liege the king." He is then lead to the place where they kept prisoners. (He would be brought before the Knights, where Sir Kay would brag about how he captured the Stranger, and probably exaggerate the facts...)

Thus ends my recap of chapters I and II, look tomorrow for Chapters III-V.