In this short novel, Twain undertook to make an enjoyable story for children that also highlighted a couple pet peeves of his own. First, the "courtly honor" of knightly times was, to him, a delusion that led directly to the destruction of several hundred thousand men in the US during the Civil War. He despised Sir Walter Scott and his whol set of Waverly novels with what he considered to be the pernicious themes of knightly honor. Here, he undertakes to show the exact same characters as ignorant, power hungry tyrants. Second, the idea of technology as a boon bothered him. Certainly, he accepted the value of much of technology, but in his view it was overstated in its value so he used this anachronistic story to highlight technology hurting, rather than helping, his main character and the ignorant selfishness of supposed "knights."
This report prepared by Kelly Whiting