In her paper, "Twain's novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and U.S. Imperialism," Jennifer A. O'Neill argues that while it Twain's text is commonly viewed as an attack on monarchy and the Catholic church, one of the book's primary focuses is U.S. imperialism. In the scholarship of Twain's text some have acknowledged the text as a discussion of colonialism, most tend to see it as an exaltation of "civilizing" efforts rather than the scalding indictment it was clearly intended to be. Indeed, Twain embraced U.S. colonial efforts in the Pacific early in his life but by the time he wrote his novel, he was opposed to U.S. expansionist efforts. O'Neill argues that Twain's later public speeches and letters indicate dissatisfaction with colonial efforts. In O'Neill's analysis, a careful reading of the novel and other pertinent sources show that this work has not been received in the manner Twain intended.

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