Time Travel Paradoxes in Conneticut Yankee Mark Twain's Conneticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court is a book about time travel. It was written 1989 which was before science as we now know it, which tells us that time travel is not possible because of paradoxes. This is still a good book that has many good things to say about America versus England, proving that the American way is superior. America in the day, had just won it's independence and was trying to establish it's own identity from England.
Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, created the first science fiction novel with Mark Twain's Conneticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court. In the story a man from the present goes back in time after being hit on the head by a crow bar. He wakes up and is captured by Sir Kay, the Seneschal (Negri, 11). After an eclipse, the man becomes the court's great magician and blows up Merlin's castle.
He uses modern inventions like the telephone and telegraph and teaches people to read the newspaper he puts out. When a lady comes to the court to get help against the ogres who had captured her and her sister's, the Boss as the man is now called rides off with her to Britain save them all. After going to Morgan le Fay's castle and rescuing her prisoners, they find the ogres were swineherds and the princesses were really pigs after all. Which is symbolic of the illusion that is society (Negri, 104-105). One of the problems with the book is that Mark Twain uses modern-day technology in King Arthur's time. If this was the case that technology would be around more today.
At the end of the book the only evidence of that technology was a bullet hole in a suit of armor that the Boss put in him self (Negri, 268). Even though over a thousand years had past, you would think some of the machines and forges the Boss left behind would still be there and found by scientists. The Boss creates bullets and guns and those would win battles against the swords and spears of the knights of the time. I know I would rather have a gun then a sword and think the knights would also want guns. With this kind of weapons, the English Knights would be invincible every time and conquer the world. Yet they didn't keep the weapons.
Showing how the book is full of paradoxes. A paradox is when one thing happens that would make something that would happen later impossible. If you went back in time and killed your grandfather, would you be born? If you weren't born, than you couldn't kill your grandfather, so he'd be alive, so you'd be able to go back in time, then. But then you could kill your grandfather, which would cause it all to happen again. If the Boss could go back in time, he would create those better weapons, which would make England invincible. Then America couldn't win the Revolutionary War and the Boss would be an Englishman and not have the same job and get sent back in time.
Then he wouldn't "invent" guns and help England take over the world. In addition to the weapons and technology, he was inventing democracy all over again and showing how bad slavery was. Since England was not democratic and when he brought democracy to them they would have a better life and that brings up another paradox. After the English could vote, there would be no kings and when he went back he would have no reason to change things there because they would be democratic already.
This paradox, like all of them goes on and one in a big circle. By showing that democracy was better then England system of monarchy, Mark Twain is showing that America is better then England. In England they aloud slavery like America had, but America had the Civil War and slavery ended. Mark Twain is showing in Mark Twain's Conneticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court that slavery is wrong and that democracy is a better system. This was a fun book to read, although confusing at times. It isn't really a science fiction because it is set in the day and uses the language of the time.
Overall, Mark Twain is saying that the American way of government is better than the English monarchy and he proves it by showing how American inventions and democracy change the way that English people behaved in the book. Because of paradoxes though, it couldn't happen, but by going back in time, the Boss was able to prove America is a better system. Works Cited Negri, Paul, Ed. "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain." Mineola, NY: Dover Thrift Editions, 2001.