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Comic In Time Travel Stories (Mark Twain's "Connecticut Yankee On King Arthur's Court" And Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhikers' Guide Through The Galaxy")

1995 words - 8 pages

Time travel stories are the stories in which people get lost in the dimension of time (and space). Time travel stories seem to have more with the fantasy writing, but they, in fact, may present us with a very realistic depiction of contemporary society and men. Authors of this kind of literature do that in not so obvious way, for the facts they want to exhibit lie hidden beneath the improbability of time travel, and comical situations the characters who travel through time usually get into.The source of comic lies in the situations where a character finds his usual behavior and beliefs contrasted and often confronted with those of an alien surroundings he finds himself into. From this kind of social, cultural and temporal misunderstanding rises a comical situation which the character finds difficult to manage, and therefore looks silly, or finds the society he got into to be that way. But behind these comic, light- hearted situations lurks the fact that shows that the cause of this type of misunderstanding lies in the rigidity of the characters. It shows how people are often not able to understand different social rules and customs, and therefore stick to their usual patterns of behavior, which makes them unable to adapt and empathize with people unlike themselves, which is not funny at all.The characters in time travel novels are somewhat stereotyped as typical representatives of their societies. This occurs because the character's personality and behavior are strongly opposed to different social rules, so what is taken as most ordinary and common in one society, and often goes without giving any notion to it, becomes highlighted and very obvious in a different setting. That's how Hank Morgan is a typical man from industrial Connecticut, or how Arthur Dent is a typical Englishman from the second part of the 21st century.Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee on King Arthur's Court"- Hank Morgan is this type of character- lost in time and rigid in his behavior and beliefs. He finds himself listening to the jokes of Sir Dinadan in king Arthur's court. Hank Morgan finds Sir Dinadan far from being funny and is utterly bored with his stories."Sir Dinadan was so proud of his exploit that he could not keep from telling over and over again, to weariness, how the immortal idea happened to occur to him; and as is the way with humorists of his breed, he was still laughing at it after everybody else had got through. He was so set up that he concluded to make a speech -- of course a humorous speech. I think I never heard so many old played-out jokes strung together in my life. He was worse than the minstrels, worse than the clown in the circus. It seemed peculiarly sad to sit here, thirteen hundred years before I was born, and listen again to poor, flat, worm-eaten jokes that had given me the dry gripes when I was a boy thirteen hundred years afterwards. It about convinced me that there isn't any such thing as a new joke possible. Everybody laughed at these...

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