GRE Reading Comprehension
Hank Morgan, the hero of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, is a nineteenth-century master mechanic who mysteriously awakening in sixth-century Britain, launches what he hopes will be a peaceful revolution to transform Arthurian Britain into an industrialized modern democracy. The novel, written as a spoof of Thomas Malory's Morte dArthur, a popular collection of fifteenth-century legends about sixth-century Britain, has been made into three upbeat movies and two musical comedies. None of these translations to screen and stage, however, dramatize the anarchy at the conclusion of A Connecticut Yankee, which ends with the violent overthrow of Morgan's three-year-old progressive order and his return to the nineteenth century, where he apparently commits suicide after being labeled a lunatic for his incoherent babblings about drawbridges and battlements. The American public, although enjoying Twain's humor, evidently rejected his cynicism about technological advancement and change through peaceful revolution as antithetical to the United States doctrine of progress.
According to the passage, which of the following is a true statement about the reception of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by the American public?
- A The public had too strong a belief in the doctrine of progress to accept the cynicism demonstrated at the conclusion of Twain's novel.
- B Twain's novel received little public recognition until the work was adapted for motion pictures and plays.
- C Although the public enjoyed Twain's humor, his use of both sixth-century and nineteenth-century characters confused many people.
- D The public has continued to enjoy Twain's story, but the last part of the novel seems too violent to American minds.
- E Because of the cynicism at the end of the book, the public rejected Twain's work in favor of the work of Thomas Malory.
Correct Answer: A