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Free Study Guide for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

CHAPTER 31 "MARCO"

Summary

Morgan takes a walk with Marco around the village and gets acquainted with the people. He visits shops and meets the shopkeepers. He observes the people using his currency and learns about the wage patterns followed in the village. He then invites a few traders (the blacksmith, the mason, and the wheel-right) to lunch at the Marcos' house. For the occasion, he presents Marco and his wife with new dresses and earns their admiration.

Notes

This short chapter deviates from the main plot though it prepares the readers for the future events. The Boss visits the market place with Marco and is happy to note that his currency is in circulation. His other "invention", the miller-gun, is sold in the market. He thus observes the way of living of the villagers as it has been affected by his introductions. He gets friendly with a few traders and in order to earn their favor, shows off his wealth and knowledge to them. By mingling with the people, he becomes aware of his popularity.

CHAPTER 32 "DOWLEY'S HUMILIATION"

Summary

Morgan showers the Marcos with furniture, crockery, and provisions to equip them for the Sunday dinner. On the appointed day, the guests arrive and settle down under a tree. They chat before the food arrives. Dowley, the blacksmith, talks about his life--his secret for success and his enviable status. The Marcos then lay down an elaborate table with the choicest delicacies. The guests are astounded. And when the shopkeeper arrives to collect the fat bill from the Boss, Dowley feels guilty of his vain boast. The Boss thus impresses the guests by showing off his wealth.


Notes

This chapter serves to strengthen the image of the Boss in front of the villagers and pave the way for him to impress his ideas on them. The fallacy of his plan is evident in the next few chapters. In the past, he had admonished Arthur for behaving like a King and thus elevating himself above the common man. Now, he behaves like a lord by showing off his wealth in front of the others. The Boss, for all his socialistic ideals, desires to impress people and earn their appreciation with his own superiority.

CHAPTER 33 "SIXTH-CENTURY POLITICAL ECONOMY"

Summary

Shortly after dinner, Morgan and the peasants have a leisurely chat. Dowley boasts about his pattern of paying higher wages to his craftsmen. Morgan tries to explain to him the structure of the wage pattern and its relation to purchasing power, but fails to impress this on the men. Feeling defeated, he talks to them about the future, when workers will decide wages. The peasants are startled by Morgan's revelations but do not respond positively to his theory. Desperately wanting to impress his ideas on the traders, the Boss talks to them about the evil practice of pillory and indirectly warns them of facing the consequences of unjust laws. Dowley and his friends are frightened.

Notes

As the title suggests, the chapter reveals the economy in the sixth- century. In that medieval age, the magistrate decided the wage structure. The craftsmen and the traders earned higher wages but they spent more to purchase goods. As a result, the peasants earned more but could hardly save any money.

In this chapter the Boss tries once again to impress the peasants with his democratic and modern views. In the process, he goes overboard. When he fails to make them understand the principles of Economics, he paints a bright picture about the future of economy where people earn more and live in comfort. The traders are not still convinced about his ideas. In a last bid to convince them of his superior views, Morgan tries forceful tactics. He exposes the unjust laws of England, which indulge in the evil practice of pillory. Consequently, the Boss antagonizes the traders instead of earning their favor.

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