The Equitable Distribution of Injustice: Raising Twain
13 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2010
Date Written: June 1, 2000
To contemporary readers, the book's ending seems rushed, unsatisfactory, and quite brutal. Some critics, in fact, emphasize the ending as they portray Hank Morgan as a fascist precursor-or perhaps worse. Justin Kaplan, who argues that Twain generally was "capable of sustaining two moods of belief at the same time," views Connecticut Yankee as opposite to Twain's customary secular religion and his general faith in progress. To Kaplan, this book "as far as it preaches anything, preaches irreverence, the guillotine, a reign of terror, and a kind of generalized despair. . .Though his good friend William Dean Howells praised Connecticut Yankee for its charm and moral soundness, Clemens bitterly complained as he finally "let it go" because of things he had left out that could never again be said and that would in any event require "a pen warmed up in hell." Is this Twain's final, bleak word about leadership? Is the somber message that east is east, and west is west, and the twain is an hour late?
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